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: 41171 Published: September 08, 2015 Updated: September 23, 2015
Story Notes:

QAF and all characters/ places and notable storylines are the property of Cowlip. No copyright infringement is intended. All original storyline and plot is my own. It's not intended to be a song fic BUT I was listening to "Somewhere Only We Know" by Keane (which is one of my favorites) while thinking about this particular plot and as always, it came together.  Thanks for in advance for reading/reviewing! ~Nichelle

1. Chapter 1 by Nichelle Wellesly

2. Chapter 2 by Nichelle Wellesly

3. Chapter 3 by Nichelle Wellesly

4. Chapter 4 by Nichelle Wellesly

Chapter 1 by Nichelle Wellesly

CHAPTER ONE

 

 

 

 

 

I walked across the empty land

 

I knew the pathway like the back of my hand

 

I felt the earth beneath my feet

 

Sat by the river and it made me complete

 

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*

 

If there was one thing Justin did not feel like doing today, it was going to Mel and Lindsey's party. He had been having dreams all night of Brian. So many that eventually he had given up on sleep entirely, opting instead to indulge in his favorite guilty pleasures- drawing Brian, thinking about Brian...fantasizing about Brian. Which was essentially ridiculous because he was the one who left, right? The truth was he knew the minute he stepped onto the sidewalk of Babylon that fateful night a week ago, that he had made a terrible mistake leaving with Ethan Gold. But he had been so angry and hurt that the one night that should have belonged to him and Brian, their triumph over Chris fucking Hobbs- and yeah Michael's triumph in a sense over David Cameron, too- was the one night that Brian decided to be Rage and fuck himself at the same time. Pride and stubbornness wouldn't let Justin correct his very public mistake so he left and has been trying to make the best of the situation of his and Brian's own making ever sense.

 

It wasn't that Ethan was so bad. It was just that well... he wasn't Brian. The cuddling after sex is nice but that's about it. Living with Ethan had opened his eyes to a lot especially how to tell a boy from a man. Everything about Ethan is centered on his career and pretentious friends. Instead of getting a job to pay for his expenses, his parents pay for his rent and the rest he makes in tips as a street performer. Justin would have probably been able to respect that if he wasn't the one footing most of the other bills with the money he makes in tips. On average, Justin makes much more than Ethan does in tips alone or he did until he had a run-in with Michael two days ago. He didn't think Debbie knew because she hadn't called his cell phone to get the story and no one else had either. He had only been at Ethan's a week and already he's had to dip into his savings quite a few times for groceries and the like (something he definitely didn't plan to do so soon). It's also about how opposite Brian and Ethan are in terms of how they communicate with him. Brian, although domineering at times, still discussed things of importance with Justin. Their talks ranged from everything to advertising ideas to Justin's aspirations as a man and how to market his ideas and paintings. It wasn't all clubbing and fucking like people thought although they did a lot of both of those, too. It was nice to have an actual conversation over dinner that peaked his interests. With Ethan, every conversation out of his mouth was about his dreams, his goals, his...his...and more of his. Justin felt like he was just expected to be a cheerleader instead of a boyfriend or partner. One thing he could say about Brian was that even when he was tricking, Justin never felt invisible or insignificant- not even when it was he was chasing after Brian. And the sex... Justin was glad that with the exception of that one time when he was still with Brian and he'd allowed himself to be fucked instead of the other way around, he was the top in their relationship. He missed Brian and the way he could totally and completely give himself over to the Master of Sex without fear of getting hurt or reservation. Sex used to be hot and fun; now it felt like a chore and cold, perfunctory and impersonal. Justin had even contemplated making an appearance at Babylon and seducing Brian to get his needs met but wouldn't that have been counterproductive since he'd left Brian for this very thing and ultimately fucked up?

 

He sighed and went back to drawing his favorite subject. He knew he would have to hide this book in the morning as he had with the others. Ethan's jealousy and insecurity of Brian and his place in Justin's life was well-founded although Justin would never admit such a thing aloud. He knew he fucked up but Ethan deserved a fair chance with him even if it was under false pretenses and he deserved a life without Brian- truly unloved, unprotected and unsatisfied.

 

While Justin was making decisions and once again resigning himself to the fate of his own choosing, he was completely unaware of being observed surreptitiously the dark-haired man across the room on the bed.

 

BJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJ

 

Brian had seen Justin several times at the diner over the last few days while working...or trying to anyway. There were so many things left unsaid between them and yet Justin had made his choice. Brian had to respect that. As he laid there, wide awake and horny but not wanting anyone else, he thought of all the things he should have said to prevent Justin from leaving him; all the things he could have done. But what good would that have been for either of them? Even if Brian had been able to tell Justin what he wanted to hear- what he apparently needed to hear- it still wouldn't have stopped him from walking out of Babylon in front of everyone. They still would have been at the party for Rage, Brian still would have fucked his comic book-to-life character and Ian still would have shown up. It was better this way. Justin got to make the choice and Brian finally had his life back. What a life.

 

Brian hadn't had anyone over to the loft since Justin left, not wanting anyone else in their bed- someone else's scent on the midnight blue ones which looked so erotic as a backdrop to blond hair, cerulean blue eyes and creamy alabaster skin. Michael and Lindsey hadn't even been allowed to come by even though they'd left countless messages. He'd changed the security code after Mel and Lindsey had barged in about Gus and preschool, right when he was spanking Justin's ass playfully. They had called the company that night and changed the code to their ages on the night they met. Somehow it seemed fitting that the only other person who had the code was the one person who should be here lying next to him...but wasn't. Tonight when he'd gotten home from work, Brian realized just how much "the loft" became just a place again. There were no pleasant smells of spices and carbs coming from the kitchen while loud music blared from the stereo while Justin cooked. There was no loud and long curses filling the air as Justin once again overworked his right hand getting his assignments done for school or to sell. There was nothing but silence... and that Brian hated most of all. His loft no longer felt like ‘home.' Justin had permeated every portion of his life including the place where he now laid wide awake yearning for the same man he'd willingly pushed off a Kinney cliff. The one person he should have never gotten involved with; the one person he should never have let go of.

 

The sad blue eyes are what haunted Brian the most, especially in the dead of night when most of the world was sleeping. It seemed he couldn't drink enough or take enough drugs to quell the visual; couldn't fuck himself into oblivion to eradicate the feelings which assailed him every time they came into focus. It wasn't so much the anger or even the hurt which impacted Brian but the resignation in the blue orbs he'd come to know and love as much as his own. Justin was done fighting. He was tired. Brian had finally done what he'd been trying to do since day one; he was finally rid of the annoying twink. So why didn't it feel like a victory? Brian rolled over reaching across himself for his pack of cigarettes. Settling onto his back, he touched the empty side of the bed wishing the warm body of his favorite blond was there. He missed the little sounds Justin made when he was asleep; missed how Justin's foot would hook across his ankle in the middle of the night to make sure he wasn't alone. Would Ian even know what to do if Justin had an anxiety attack or a nightmare? Brian scoffed into the silence. He doubted it. He didn't believe he could even wipe his own fucking nose let alone take care of Justin. He'll be back. He has to come back. Brian had to believe that because nothing else would be acceptable. He knew Justin and no matter how much he pretended otherwise, Brian knew that the bravest, horniest and one of the most intelligent people he knew, could not spend his life settling for Ian. Justin Taylor was much too ambitious, insatiable and tenacious to be happy with someone who wasn't his equal in all things and Paganini, Junior was NOT it.

 

With that thought, Brian stubbed out his cigarette, hugged Justin's pillow to him which still held the boy's sweet scent even now and finally fell asleep.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

BJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJ

 

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.

 

BJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJ

 

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.

 

BJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJ

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Chapter 3 by Nichelle Wellesly

CHAPTER THREE

 

 

 

THUNK! Was the sound that caused all motion at the Munchers' Anniversary party to cease, followed by yelling and groaning from the man lying on the ground holding his left eye. Brian opened his eyes after hearing the sound of his friend- his best friend- crying. Where Michael had stood only a moment before was replaced by an angry, shocked blond-haired little twink with blood on his fist. His belligerent body language daring the man on the ground to get up while guarding the man at his back from the ‘family's' scrutiny. This was the one time Brian couldn't be blamed for anything except showing up and Justin wouldn't let that happen. As far as he was concerned, Michael had been cruising for a bruising for months and Justin felt absolutely no guilt giving it to him.

 

"What the fuck, Justin? Why did you hit my son? I never would have taken you for an animal," Debbie yelled as she cradled Michael's head in her lap.

 

"How dare you, Justin?" Lindsey said in that WASP voice he knew all too fucking well. For all he cared right now, she could suck on a rotten green dildo. Michael deserved it and if they didn't know why then they needed fucking hearing aids since everyone surrounding them had heard what he said.

 

"I think you'd better leave Justin," Melanie said angrily. "I can't believe you did this."

 

Justin silently turned on his heel and made the progression toward the gate where Ethan was waiting.

 

"What the fuck was that about? Brian? You know what, I don't even want to know. Come on, I'll take you home."

 

Justin looked back at Brian for a moment. He was still there in shock and probably even trapped in his own memories of the bashing seeing the blood gushing from Michael's eye. Justin turned to Ethan then. "No. I need to be alone for awhile. I'll be home later."

 

Ethan looked like he wanted to argue but whatever he saw in Justin's face at that moment made him think better of it. "I guess I'll see you at home then. What time should I expect you? Maybe we could order dinner and watch a movie or something."

 

"I really don't know, Ethan. I just need some time. Please don't call my cell phone every twenty minutes wondering where I am. In fact, in lieu of what happened just a few minutes ago, I'll probably have it off."

 

"Well where are you going? I'll come with you and leave you alone."

 

"No Ethan. I don't want to see anyone or be around anyone right now."

 

"It's the middle of the day so how are you going to manage that. Look, Justin, I know what Michael said was horrible. I want to help you deal with it."

 

"You can't Ethan. I know you mean well but you can't help me." Justin walked away from Ethan picking up speed as he heard Ethan's plea to call him.

 

When he'd taken off he didn't have a direct destination in mind at first. He put in a call to his mom and to Daphne advising of the situation and to let them know he was alright but didn't want to see or hear from anyone for awhile. He needed some time to himself. He knew they would understand and respect his boundaries. He also knew that Debbie would call his mother with her version of events as told by Michael and he wanted his mom to have the full story, not just the part which made Michael Novotny blameless which was always the case. He walked passed the park which had always been his solace but not as of late. It was always where he and Brian would take Gus for outings when Lindsey and Melanie deemed Brian the ideal babysitter because Marie and Dusty were too busy. That was another part of the bullshit dynamics of the family. Brian was never good enough until they all needed something. Perhaps that wasn't true for Emmett and Ted but for the rest of them, it sure as hell was. He had zoned out of his surroundings until he thought of the one place no one would think to look for him... except perhaps one but he would be long gone from there before Brian caught up to him.

 

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Meanwhile in Muncher-ville

 

"I don't know what the fuck's gotten into that kid," Debbie ranted. "That is so out of character for Justin to act like that. It's more like you, Brian."

 

"Does Father Kinney's school for runaway boys hold a class on using your fist for other than a gay boy's delight?" Emmett said to Ted.

 

"Well I don't know Emmett but the way Justin delivered that punch to Michael, I would say so."

 

"Would you two shut the fuck up," Brian snapped. He didn't find a damn thing amusing about the situation. If he were honest, he would have punched the shit out of Michael, too after what he'd said. It was uncalled for and completely out of line. "I have to go."

 

"Where the fuck are you going?" Debbie asked yelling while the others looked on. "Your fucking best friend is lying here with an ice pack over his eye and your off to go get your dick sucked? You owe my kid, Asshole."

 

"I. DON'T. OWE. HIM. ANYTHING, Debbie," Brian yelled back. He couldn't help it. He was so tired of people telling him their thoughts when they didn't know a fucking thing.

 

"The hell you don't, Brian. Where the fuck would Justin get an idea in his head to hit Michael from?"

 

"Perhaps, Mikey deserved it and Justin finally had had enough," Brian answered. "Do you even know what caused Justin to go off, do you? Do any of you?"

 

"It doesn't matter why-"

 

"Bullshit! Justin was provoked. I was standing right there, Deb."

 

"And you did nothing to stop it?"

 

Ben interjected. "Look we don't know the whole story. Michael why don't you tell us?"

 

Michael groaned but otherwise remained silent.

 

"Yeah, Michael, why don't you tell us?" Brian said sarcastically keeping his eyes glued to the man who continued to keep both eyes shut.

 

Emmett piped up. "Well I guess all of his snide comments today finally made the twink snap."

 

"You mean there were more?" Brian asked.

 

"All day, Michael has been telling anyone who would listen that Justin was a selfish prick after all you've done for him."

 

"But that's still no reason for Sunshine to hit Michael," Debbie reasoned.

 

"Perhaps it's the other comments Michael uttered," Brian said narrowing his hazel eyes at the rest of the group.

 

"For fuck's sake, Brian, if you have a clue why this happened then just say what it is," Melanie exploded.

 

Brian sighed. "I was trying to give Michael a chance to tell his own side of things but since he can't...correction, since he won't, I will tell you all what Michael said that made Justin hit him. Honestly I can't blame Justin at all for his actions and I won't."

 

"Well get on with it. I'm not getting any younger, Brian," Vic said.

 

And Brian relayed word for word the entire conversation which neither had any idea that Justin was listening to. He told them of Michael's constant badgering leading to the culmination of Justin delivering the left hook that sent Michael falling to the ground. By the time he retold the story, every eye in living room of the house was at first disbelieving and then fucking angry but not at him for a change but at Michael Charles Novotny. As all of the occupants verbally attacked Michael, Brian sneaked outside. He really was worried about Justin. Although unable to move or speak coherently at the time, he was aware that Justin had left and apparently without Ethan from what Emmett had told him. If what Michael had said affected Brian in the way it had, Brian in turn could only imagine the pain Justin must have felt right before he punched Michael and about everything that happened afterward. He tried calling Justin but it went straight to the voicemail. He had to find him and quickly. If Justin was allowed to dwell on the events surrounding the bashing and of the afternoon, he would have a full-blown panic attack. It was why Brian hadn't stayed out past a certain time when it first happened and why he kept mention of it to a minimum unless Justin brought it up...and Justin did the same for him.

 

It was far too early for Babylon to be open even on a Saturday so he knew Justin wouldn't be there. He walked into Woody's but didn't see Justin in there. He asked the bartenders on duty, Frank and Artie, if Justin had been in. Several of the patrons looked at him funny due to the franticness of his voice. Several of them knew about the bashing and the young man's recovery including the panic attacks or the violent outburst from overworking his hand when he was at the diner. Brian took note in a single glance of the looks on their faces. There were only looks of concern and sympathy- not pity and derision. Brian acknowledged it all with a single nod of his head as he headed back out the way he came. Artie and Frank had wished him well in finding Justin. As many were jealous of his relationship with Brian, they were also in awe of the little twink that was determined to rise above any obstacles placed in his way. Brian searched the park thoroughly with no sign of Justin. It was always his favorite place to go, the place where he always felt most at home except for one but... One of Justin's favorite songs popped into his head just then. The only one he listened to up there where they danced the last time before everything turned to shit between them.

 

And if you have a minute why don't we go

 

Talk about it somewhere on we know?

 

This could be the end of everything

 

So why don't we go

 

Somewhere only we know?*

 

Brian raced back to the corvette toward the loft, ignoring the many cell phone calls coming through and finally shutting it off. He knew who it was. ‘The family' which should have known there was a reason but as always so quick to lay blame at Brian's door while letting Michael off the hook. Well he couldn't think about any of that now. Justin was his priority as he should have been- as he was all along. He walked into the loft opting to take the stairs instead of waiting for the elevator. Since Justin was the only person who had the new codes, he wouldn't have to worry about them being disturbed if he was there. Looking around the empty loft, Brian felt a little disheartened until he noticed two very distinct things out of place. A bottle of Beam was missing from bar and Justin's key was lying on the counter. He entered the loft a little further noticing the midnight blue duvet wasn't on the bed where he'd left it. Brian went over to the door in the corner of the loft. Finding it unlocked, he raced in not bothering to close the door behind him. Taking the steps two at a time, he felt the chill night breeze wafting down to him on his way up.

And there he was. The first feeling of relief at finding Justin on their rooftop terrace flooded Brian. He was lying with his head back watching as the sun set, the bottle of JB lazily being held by fingertips Brian knew so well. He saw the minute the awareness Justin and Brian always shared infused the younger man's body, indicated by the slight tensing of his shoulders and immediate relax of the same. The only thing missing this time was Keane playing softly in the background. He missed hearing Justin humming softly to that song but having two out of three of their mutual habits weren't bad.

 

"I'm sorry, Brian," he said softly. "I didn't mean to come here but I knew this was the one place they wouldn't look for me."

 

Brian crossed the deck over to him, taking the seat right next to Justin. His red-rimmed eyes told Brian all he needed to know. Justin had managed to fight off the panic attack but he was getting drunk in the process. Fucking pain management. Brian grabbed the bottle to the slight protest of Justin and took a long swig of the amber liquid himself. Justin wasn't the only one who had been traumatized out of his mind today. After sitting in silence, watching the sun disappear behind the trees surrounding the Allegheny River, Brian finally spoke.

 

"Do you have any idea how many people are looking for you? Why did you turn your cell phone off? You could have just as easily ignored the calls."

 

"I just needed the peace. I know you of all people understand that."

 

Brian nodded. "I know but you know whether you are here or not, I worry about you. So does Daphne and your mom. Debbie, too."

 

"Right now I would imagine Debbie has her own son on her mind, Brian. As for my mom and Daph, I called while I was walking trying to figure out where to go."

 

"Speaking of Michael-"

 

"Brian, I don't need to be chastised for laying into Michael. You would have done the same thing."

 

"You're fucking right I would have," Brian agreed. He softened his tone while reaching for Justin's right hand. As he suspected, the hand was stiff and clammy from Justin's nerves. Brian began to gently massage the hand, coaxing it to open and stretch, pulling one finger at a time. When Justin moaned out of a mix of pain and pleasure, Brian smiled a knowing smile. "You haven't been keeping up with these, have you?"

 

Justin couldn't help but smile back in answer at the man who knew him so well. "I could never do it like you do. You're the best at it."

 

"Perhaps if you showed Ian what to do..." Shit why did I have to say that?

 

Justin took his hand back. "Yes I suppose you're right," he said, the haughty tone cutting deep into Brian.

 

"I'm-"

 

"Don't say it, Brian. Sorry's bullshit, remember?" Justin shifted on the chair. "Well I guess I've exhausted my time here. I'll leave my key and call if I want to use the terrace again if that's okay."

 

Brian stood when Justin did, allowing his chest to brush against the shorter man's. He watched Justin's breathing become erratic with their proximity; the attraction just as strong now as the night they met.

 

"Stay."

 

"Brian..."

 

Brian couldn't resist the urge as the blue eyes melted into his. Yes this was painful. Yes it may have even been wrong to some but fuck, it was them. Brian leaned in staring into Justin's eyes, giving him the chance to retreat. He saw the warring between what was morally right and what was right for himself going on behind Justin's eyes. Before Brian could pull back to keep him from having to decide, Justin laced the fingers of his left hand through Brian's hair and kissed him like a man starving for air. Brian responded immediately snatching Justin's heat for his own. Their tongues wrestled for dominance, hands gripping everywhere they could reach; the fire between them was as intense as it ever was. Justin nipped at Brian's lower lip causing the older man to groan at the pleasurable pain that Justin immediately soothed with his tongue before sucking on the succulent flesh. Brian in turn sucked and nibbled on Justin's plump top lip. Everything was wrong between them but God in Heaven it felt so fucking right.

 

"Wait..." Brian said between the biting kisses of his partner. Justin was alternating between his lips and neck wanting to devour all of Brian. "Justin...we can't."

 

"I don't want to stop, Brian. I need this so fucking much."

 

Part of that was music to Brian's ears. He had missed Justin so damn much that nothing was satisfying anymore. Not work. Not partying. Not fucking. Nothing but he also knew that Justin would hate himself if he was still attached to Ethan while fucking the hell out of Brian. And Brian couldn't let him do that to himself. He'd spent most of their time together trying to protect and provide for Justin, even from himself. He couldn't stop doing either of those things now. "I know you don't want to, Justin and neither do I."

 

"Then fucking don't," Justin whispered against his lips. "Please."

 

Fuck, the way he uttered that last word, Brian could have cum right then. The way Justin made it sound like begging and a command at the same time always went right to his cock and he would have liked nothing better than to bury himself deep inside of Justin's compact body and never reemerge. But this was too important for the overall well-being of the man within his arms. "Justin, you have to make a decision now."

 

"I've already made it. I want you to fuck me."

 

"Well I know that, twat. But that's not the one I'm talking about and you know it."

 

And he did know it indicated by the sigh which escaped him. "Do you know why I left, Brian?"

 

"You wanted a commitment which is something I can give but my way, not in a conventional way."

 

Justin nodded. "You're partly correct. My issue was that I didn't think I was enough for you."

 

"Justin-"

 

"No, Brian, let me finish. I know that the tricks mean nothing and I know within my heart that I've always been more. But there are days when I feel like less not only to you but to me too. Ethan made me a priority in ways that you wouldn't. He said the things that I thought I needed to hear and I didn't have to guess where his loyalty was."

 

"Justin I told you from the start that we aren't lesbians, we aren't a couple of heteros and we're certainly not Stepford fags."

 

"We don't have to be, Brian. All I'm asking is that once in awhile, you do something that makes me feel like I'm not the trick that won't go home."

 

"What flowers?"

 

"Hell no. I'm allergic but then you know that." Justin laughed and Brian smiled in return.

 

"Then what, Sunshine?"

 

"Take me someplace other than Babylon or the Baths once in awhile. We can still do those things but sometimes I like it when it's just the two of us. We don't have to go around here so it doesn't fuck up your vaunted reputation nor mine."

 

"Oh so you have a reputation to keep up?"

 

"Certainly, Stud. If you're the best top, I'm second in line, Brian. Don't tell me you didn't know that."

 

Brian gives his trademark smirk in place of his answer. Of course he knew that but better to let the boy think he didn't so that he didn't start getting ideas pass the time Brian let him top once. "Anything else?"

 

"We can talk about it later...or in your case not. But let's do this our way, Brian. Too many people have opinions about what we do and who we do and where we do it. And people like Michael would love nothing better than to see us fail, have a wide open playing field to make that happen."

 

"So what you're basically asking for is commitment, not monogamy?"

 

"I'm asking for honesty up front. Let's not even think about monogamy since I'm only nineteen which has been your issue all along. We can work out the other details as we go along and if it's not right for us, then we need to say so. I don't want another time when someone has a chance to wreak havoc all because we were not happy and said nothing."

 

It didn't sound too bad to Brian. Of course there would always be somethings that Brian didn't verbalize but Justin had always been able to read him with the exception of the last few months but Brian supposed that was mainly because of his own issues regarding the bashing. Hell for the most part, Justin communicated verbally enough for the both of them. And like it or not, being without Justin for a week- only one week- had taught Brian that being without Justin was something he didn't want to have to do again....although he would never tell anyone else that and especially not Justin. But he suspected he knew already. If that kiss was any indication, Justin had been going through his own personal hell of life without Brian as well and it had nothing to do with his physical comfort. They were each others' lifelines, their life preservers to keep them from sinking into life's ever changing currents. And how could anyone, even Brian Kinney, deny that.

 

 

 

And if you have a minute

 

Why don't we go

 

Talk about it somewhere only we know?

 

This could be the end of everything

 

So why don't we go?

 

Somewhere only we know*

 

 

 

 

 

*Somewhere Only We Know- Keane

 

 

 

 

Chapter 4 by Nichelle Wellesly
Author's Notes:

I would be remissed if I didn't thank Deb Tanner once again for the original plot bunny which started this fic and also a new one about Ethan and his trick while Brian was there also. I hope I did it justice, Deb!! {MANY HUGS}

CHAPTER 4

 

 

 

I saw you walking down the street and fell for you after just one glimpse

 

Come back to me again, don't ever go away again

 

Kiss my lips, caress my body. Kiss me, Kiss me, kiss me.*

 

 

 

***

 

Later that night...

 

Justin looked back at the Corvette knowing he was being watched as he climbed the steps to the front door of the apartment which never felt like home. It had been a long emotionally-charged afternoon and yet it had only been a few hours since one of the happiest events of his life occurred. He and Brian were back together and all was right in Justin's world except one thing...Ethan. Justin closed his eyes as he headed into the semi-rundown apartment building. It was funny but Justin could remember when he first helped Ethan carry that raggedy couch up these same stairs. That was the day when their acquaintanceship had turned into friendship.

 

Herding himself up the stairs, he reached for the single key within his pocket. Justin wondered if it meant anything that he'd never put it on the ring with his other keys, including the one for the loft. Was it a sign that he unconsciously didn't feel the need to place it with the other more permanent symbols of unlimited access he carried around daily? In the week he'd been staying with Ethan, it was something he didn't think too much about. Shaking himself out of his reverie, he was shocked to see Ethan rushing around the apartment gathering clothes and literally dumping them into a suitcase.

 

"Ethan? What's going on?"

 

The other man stopped in his tracks and turned to face Justin. Justin tried to read the expressions playing across Ethan's face. Surprise. Amazement. Confusion...elation. What the hell is this about?

 

"Oh, Jus. Great fucking news!"

 

"What is exactly?"

 

"My agent just called. I have to be in Harrisburg first thing tomorrow morning but he booked a flight for two hours from now which means I have thirty minutes to get to the airport. Help me pack, will you?" And he began racing around the apartment making a divine mess of things- not that it was so fucking clean in the first place.

 

Justin crossed over to the suitcase wide open on the bed. He began taking the clothes thrown haphazardly, dumped the clothes out and refolding them to place them back in a way that would require minimal ironing. It was the worse kept secret that Ethan hated anything domestic, preferring to spend all of his time practicing and ironing was right at the top of the list.

 

"So how long will you be gone, Ethan?"

 

"Two weeks so far. Oh Jus," Ethan gushed. "The Harrisburg Philharmonic! Can you believe it? This could be my big break. I wish you could come with me."

 

His agent had advised Ethan just after the Heifetz competition that although Ethan was gay, he was straight to any and all who would ask and especially in public. Honestly, in lieu of all that happened within the last three hours between he and Brian, Justin wasn't sorry that he wasn't invited to go. It would have saved him the trouble of having to make excuses not to go in the first place. Thinking of Brian in that moment caused Justin the greatest joy while watching the man racing around the apartment like a chicken with his head cut off caused him a twinge of pain. He didn't want to break Ethan's heart when he'd just received some of the best news someone in his position could- playing principal chair as a 19 years old student was a major accomplishment no matter that it wasn't Chicago, New York or Los Angeles. Ethan's star was on the rise; Justin didn't want to dim it in any way. But Brian was right, he did need to close the door on the whole ‘Ethan debacle' before moving on with his life or he would feel guilty and like he was a liar. Justin had already been down that road which led to the current mess he was in with the violinist.

 

"Ethan, we need to talk," Justin said as he continued to refold the dumped clothes.

 

"Can't it wait, Jus? I'm going to be late if this is going to take more than two minutes."

 

"It will but I need to tell you something."

 

"Is it about your leaving me standing there this afternoon?"

 

"Yeah, it is," Justin answered. "I went to-"

 

The phone rang and Ethan answered immediately. "Yes. I'm on my way right now." Justin knew that it was his agent Ethan was talking to when he put his finger to his lips for Justin to keep silent. Ethan crossed over to the window. "Yes the limo is just pulling up to the apartment now. Okay, I'll call you when I get to Harrisburg." He hung up the phone. "Jus, are you finished with my suitcase. Can you believe it? The record company sent a limo to take me to the airport. I was only expecting to hail a cab."

 

"Well that's something. They have to keep their star in style," Justin said as he zipped the suitcase. "Look, Ethan-"

 

"Not now, Jus. I have to go now or I'm going to be late. We'll talk when I get back."

 

I won't be here when you get back, is what he wanted to say but instead he just said, "Okay. I'll walk you down."

 

When they reached the bottom of the steps, Ethan stopped. "I have my clothes, my tux. Mischa. Is there anything I'm forgetting?"

 

"No. You're fine, Ethan and you're going to do fine."

 

"I wish my muse could come with me. I'm going to miss you, Jus." And he leaned in to kiss Justin's lips.

 

When the kiss broke apart, Justin said softly, "Good luck, Ethan and goodbye."

 

Ethan smiled wide as he headed for the door not knowing the double meaning in Justin's words. And from the looks of it, not caring either.

 

When Justin arrived back at the Corvette, Brian gave him a puzzled look. "So how did it go?"

 

Justin shrugged. "It didn't."

 

"What happened? Cold feet?"

 

"No," he said, smiling wide. "Ethan was in quite a hurry when I entered the apartment. Apparently while I was having my meltdown this afternoon, Ethan was getting the call of his life. He will be playing principal chair for the Harrisburg Philharmonic Orchestra for the next two weeks. The guy who was supposed to do it has to have triple bypass surgery so his agent swooped in and pitched Ethan. It's a real coup for them all."

 

Brian nodded. It was a wise decision and the chance of a lifetime for a student. Brian had to admit, Ian was a brilliant musician even though he hated violin music. It always made him think of someone torturing a cat but he had to admit that Ian tortured the feline beautifully. Paganini, Junior deserved to be heard. "So what now?"

 

"What do you mean, Brian?"

 

"I mean I know you, Sunshine. This thing with Gold...well technically he's still your new boyfriend."

 

"I tried to tell him. The fact that I didn't- well that's another matter altogether. So as far as I'm concerned, it's over but I understand what you are asking me."

 

"And?"

 

"And what, Brian?"

 

"It's just that I don't want you beating yourself up about riding me into the mattress when technically you're still attached to Ian."

 

Justin smiled. "Ethan. And as far as I'm concerned I'm no longer attached unless it's in a non-conventional, non-relationship sort of way to a man who usually fucks me into the mattress. Or through the floor. Or on the table. Or in the shower without mercy or conscience. Perhaps I can persuade him to revisit those ways relatively soon... let's say within the next fifteen minutes or so?" He annunciated every word with a kiss while sliding his hand up Brian's thigh, relishing the way the muscles tensed underneath his fingers.

 

Brian smiled while starting the engine. Justin smiled back loving the way the engine roared first and then purred. It kind of reminded of Brian when he fucked him- the low-level growling until he roared out his orgasm and then the last exhausted and satisfied gasp. Everything about Brian Kinney screamed sex from his looks to the way he dresses and smells. Even his car was a sexy sex machine and it was all Justin's. He knew that now and he wasn't letting it fucking go again.

 

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The Claiming (5 days later)

 

"Do you have to go?" Justin asked lazily from the bed.

 

"I wish I didn't, Sunshine but we've been holed up in this bed every waking minute that we didn't have to work for the last five days. So yes, I have to make this business trip to Harrisburg. They're requesting one of the partners and Gardner has some family thing he can't get away from. Apparently his daughter is getting married and his ex-wife and family are in town. Since he refused to go to Chicago, they moved all of the wedding festivities here. What's funny is he doesn't get along with any of them including the soon-to-be in laws. The poor guy comes to work just for some peace and quiet."

 

Justin laughed. "I imagine that will be how you and I have to handle everything again once everybody finds out we're fucking again. Bury ourselves in work and school just to find solace until we reach the loft."

 

"Who says they have to find out?" Brian asked slipping back into bed beside his favorite blond boy ass. He reached out and palmed one of the firm globes bringing Justin's warmth closer.

 

Justin looked at him with one eyebrow raised. "You're kidding, right? I love them but when it comes to minding their own business, our family definitely become the gossiping ambassadors for the Gay Grapevine. Besides, it's getting harder and harder to act indifferent toward you in public when all I feel like doing is kissing you and sucking you and fucking you whenever you're in the diner. Someone is bound to notice."

 

Brian laughed and nodded. "It's equally hard for me when I'd like nothing better than to drag you out back and fuck you against the wall in the alley. I would never fuck you in the bathroom at the Diner but I won't lie, I've been tempted to do even that. And the way those tan cargo pants you wear hug your ass but hang low on your hips...fuck, Justin. Why do you have to wear those?"

 

"I get my best tips wearing those and the jeans."

 

"I know. They can see the imprint of your dick as well as that tight fuckable ass of yours."

 

"What? Are you jealous?"

 

"I don't do jealousy. Jealousy is for lesbians. I, on the other hand, am just territorial. There's a big difference." Brian shrugged causing Justin to laugh.

 

"Well in that case, Mr. Kinney, am I allowed to be the same?" Justin asked allowing his voice to drop an octave while running a single finger down Brian's sternum to his cock, following the movement with his own eyes before snapping back up to meet Brian's. He ran his tongue over his full lips, teasing Brian with his silent implications.

 

Brian didn't answer; he couldn't around the lump that formed in this throat. Instead he captured Justin's plush lips causing the younger man to moan and return the gesture full on. Kissing Justin was one activity Brian never tired of. Fucking him was the other. No matter how many times they fucked it was never boring; it was always new and exciting. He had watched Justin fuck plenty of guys but Brian knew it was always different with him- Justin's responses were different. He was honest and responsive in ways no one would ever be able to pull out of him except for Brian.

 

He touched the a fingertip to Justin's nipple enjoying the subtle back bowing and gasp which escaped from him. He forced the same finger between their open lips and gathered their shared saliva then returned to the hardened nub. Justin moaned into his mouth, demanding more from him. Brian trailed his lips downward, biting gently at Justin's chin, then dragging his tongue down to the crease where Justin's neck and chest met he bit there until finally he reached the protruding nipple. Brian circle the disc before taking it into his mouth, sucking gently at first and then stronger. Justin continued to push into Brian's ministrations as he continued to run his tongue. Brian bit down hard, catching it between his teeth, holding the nipple prisoner while his tongue continued to flick over it. The little gasps, moans and whimpers leaving Justin shot straight to Brian's cock in response. With each second of the sensual torment, the man beneath Brian became wilder and louder and commanding.

 

"Like that, do you? What do you want next?" Brian teased knowing what Justin really wanted. At the continued silence and Justin's protest, Brian said, "Tell me. What do you want now?"

 

"You," Justin moaned out.

 

Brian chuckled. "Well that's a given, Sunshine. How do you want me?"

 

Brian felt Justin's thighs tighten around him a second before he found himself on his back. Justin looked down into his face, eyes lustful with a little smirk gracing the full, kiss-bruised lips.

 

"There, Brian. That's how I want you. Underneath me."

 

"Is that right?" Brian had always enjoyed this side of the unpredictable youth. It made him rediscover sex in a way he never thought possible.

 

"Yeah. And now..." Justin reached over to the bedside table. He grabbed the condom and pumped a fist full of lube into his hand. ‘I'm going to enjoy fucking myself with your dick. I'm going to ride you hard. And fast."

 

"If I let you."

 

Justin smiled that sunshine bright smile he reserved only for Brian. "Oh, Mr. Kinney, you'll let me." Justin bent down and kissed Brian hard and quick. "I want you to watch me first and don't touch yourself."

 

"Or what?"

 

"I stop. You're not going to want me to stop, are you Brian?" Justin bit his bottom lip while waiting for Brian's answer. He knew what the action always did to his older lover.

 

Brian shook his head. "No. I won't want you to stop but hurry up and prep yourself. Patience was never my strong point."

 

"Nor mine." Justin laid back and closed his eyes, running the un-lubed hand down his body while the other caressed first his dick and then moved further down to his hole.

 

Brian laid mesmerized by the sight as Justin leaned back, head lying at the foot of the bed. From this angle, Brian could see the tight little hole contracting as Justin caressed the outer rim slowly. The sight of Justin masturbating had always made Brian's mouth water. He reached for his dick but remembered just in time that Justin would stop if he touched himself. God, the boy was beautiful, especially like this- all golden twinkie and full of cream. The blue eyes held his captive while the softest lips Brian had ever kissed parted in ecstasy as his finger breached the tight orifice. He watched as Justin's finger was being sucked into his body, Justin's tongue darting out to molest his bottom lip.

 

"Keep doing that, Sunshine and I'm going to put an end to your little show, " Brian's gravelly voice rang out amid his partner's moans and harsh breath.

 

"Don't. Not. Yet, Brian. Feels so fucking good."

 

"I'll bet it does. It looks good too."

 

Justin nodded and continued to fuck himself, adding another finger in the process. "Oh God."

 

Brian was gritting his teeth unable to take the inactivity while the younger man writhed and wriggled on the bed. Leaning forward he joined one of his fingers in with Justin's two. A lusty sigh filled the air as Justin pumped his hips more forcefully at the fingers lodging within him. "Hold those two fingers still, Justin." When Justin had done what he was told, Brian moved his finger up a fraction more, poking the prostate. Justin's body jerked in response. Brian did it again and again as Justin's fingers continued to lie still. He could tell by the change in Justin's breathing that he was about to cum. "Don't, Justin. Not yet."

 

Game fucking over, Justin thought as he quickly sat up. Carefully but quickly, he dressed Brian's cock in the condom and without any delay, impaled himself onto the waiting dick. Although it was a tight fit- it always was... and a tad uncomfortable but that was a part of it- both moaned out their satisfaction as Justin fully seated himself. Rising up on his knees, he repeated the action increasing the speed on his descent. He felt as Brian palmed his ass cheeks, spreading them wide as Justin continued to ride.

 

"Oh fuck, Brian. Smack my ass." And Brian did causing Justin to yell, "Yes. Again. Harder."

 

Brian complied, happy to be of service to his favorite cowboy. "Naughty boy needs a spanking."

 

"Yes, please."

 

"Ever so fucking polite, Sunshine." Smack. "It wasn't at all polite to tease me." Whack, whack. "You deserve to be punished."

 

"Yes. Punish me."

 

"What should I do?" smack. Brian rolled them over without breaking the connection and rammed into Justin.

 

"Yes that! Don't stop. Don't you fucking stop, Brian!"

 

Brian redoubled his efforts forcing incoherent words and sentences out of the man beneath him while grunting his own. Part of Brian still smarted over Justin leaving him and although it had worked out in the end the way it was supposed to, Brian still fucked him savagely when he thought about it. Not enough to tear Justin's ass or hurt him but enough that he would remember whose it really was. Mine. All fucking MINE! Brian readjusted his position and changed his angle so that every time he would move and shift, Justin's prostate would be assaulted. Justin bit into Brian's shoulder then letting him know how good it felt. Brian kept the pace, backing off of the sexually exhausted and frustrated yet still insatiable Justin every time his orgasm loomed.

 

"Sadist! You motherfucking Sadist!" Justin screamed at him the fifth time his culmination was denied. He was worn out and exhausted but he wanted Brian's cock more.

 

Brian began to move forcefully again. "This is what it felt like to be without you, Justin. Denied access to what I wanted. Pain and pleasure all rolled into one."

 

"I get the point. Please make me cum...let me cum. Please, Brian," Justin begged. He reached up bringing Brian's lips to his. Their passion as always dispelling any anger or regret the other might feel. "Please."

 

Brian nodded while giving a single kiss of reassurance. He had made his point again, leaving no doubt of the now fully exorcised hurt feelings and the joyous satiated relief at having Justin back under him. He brought Justin's legs up to his shoulders like he had the first time they ever fucked. In a sense it was their first time again- a chance to start over and to relearn each other; a chance to know more, do more and be more. Brian and Justin slowly climbed passion's peak again, Brian taking his time showing Justin the landscape of where they now were. When Brian allowed Justin his final release, he felt at peace with the decision to leave their past in the past and begin with this man anew.

 

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Business Practices (One week later)

 

What the fuck am I doing here? I could be home balls deep in Justin right now or at Babylon where I would have to sneak and be balls deep in Justin right now. I have to admit, all this incognito fucking is a turn-on. It's nice to not have Michael and his opinions or Ted and Emmett with their sly innuendos all over Justin and I; not having too many people all over our private matters. I know when Justin ended things there was a double-mindedness amongst the family. On one hand they felt sorry seeing Justin and I end but more importantly, they relished the fact that I was dumped. Which I wasn't. Because we never had a relationship- a word I still abhor with all its syllables. But that wasn't exactly true either since we defined our own terms, made our own decisions every day to be together. So yeah perhaps that dreaded ‘r' word did define what Justin and I had...what we have. Whatever the fuck it is, it's ours and no one is coming in between that again. It will once again be on our terms and the rest of them be damned. I've spent my life not giving a fuck what the others thought. Hopefully I can teach Justin to do the same but right now I'm trapped in this ball gown and glitter world full of tortured cats which is making my fucking ears bleed. Gardner is going to owe me big for this one...

 

Brian's thoughts were interrupted by his client. Amazingly it turned out that the youngest brother, Chance, of Farley's Steakhouse was a classical music enthusiast thanks to his wife Maylene. Who would have thought that with all the man's crude humor and backwater hick ways, he was as cultured as Gardner? Brian rolled his eyes at the thought himself wishing he was anywhere but there. The problem with being there wasn't necessarily the orchestra per se. It was their lead violinist for the evening. Ethan fucking Gold- Cat Torturer Extraordinaire. Brian would have liked nothing better than to find the nearest blond waiter, pretend it was Justin and fuck his brains out in the nearest restroom but this was business.

 

"Having a good time, Brian?" Maylene Farley asked him. She really was a sweet and endearing woman in her mid-fifties with iron gray hair.

 

"Yes, Mrs. Farley. It was a good concert," he lied smoothly. It wasn't her fault he wanted to pull his ears off and leave them in one of the potted plants nearby.

 

"I'm glad they found that Mr. Gold. He really is a talented young man, don't you think? The program says he's a student but I imagine he'll have plenty of offers once he graduates or even before."

 

"Without a doubt," he responded while resisting the urge to roll his eyes.

 

It wasn't that he didn't think Ethan was talented. He knew he was but Brian abhorred the idea of the young man in general. He could appreciate that he would do what he needed to do to make his fortune- Brian couldn't fault him for that- but selling out and virtually being ashamed of himself was another matter. Brian held to his policy regarding his homosexuality: "If I'm not fucking you, it isn't your business." He wasn't about to apologize for being who and what he was and he wasn't able to respect people who did. But it wasn't his business to tell people how to be happy with their lives- it was only his job to live his to the fullest and it helped that he would be doing that with a hot young blond by his side. That thought alone caused Brian to smile inwardly.

 

"So Kinney, what kind of publicity do you think you could drum up amongst this crowd?" Chance asked. "You know we would like to move away from the family restaurant vibe a bit."

 

Thank God, business. Better than talking about that chin rat having sellout. "I know, Chance. In a crowd like this though you would find that many have families. If it were me, I would probably split Farley's Steakhouses off. Have one for the families so you don't lose that demographic but also have a separate establishment for fine dining. That would increase your business ten-fold for those who don't always want to eat while there's a screaming five-year old at another table. Even the decor and menu could be a bit different."

 

Chance thought it over for a moment. "And where would you open up these fine dining establishments? We're pretty much country boys except for my one vice here." He waved his arm indicating their surroundings.

 

Brian didn't miss a step. "Honestly, I would gear the openings where you already have your businesses set up that way you don't leave out the patrons you have. This way you give them options especially if Ma and Pa want a kid free night or your hot young demographic want an elegant place to eat without a whole lot of fuss. As far as the Farly Fine Dining, I'd say open those up in the north. Pittsburgh, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. However, I would start with Pittsburgh and Long Island or Upstate, New York first.

 

"What you say has real merit, Brian. I think my brothers and I were right to go with Vanguard for this campaign," Chance agreed. "I'll tell you what. I'll call my brothers in the morning and discuss all of what you said. If they agree with it, we'll sign an extended contract with Vanguard."

 

"That's fair," he said as he noticed that Ethan entering the room. He excused himself before the greasy haired musician noticed him. The one thing he did not want to do was cause a scene in front of his newest clients. They had already signed the deal with Farley's earlier in the month so that contract wasn't in question but with the latest ideas and the extended contract worth millions on the line, Brian wasn't taking any chances of losing his temper. It just wasn't profitable enough.

 

Making his way over to the bar and ordering himself a double shot of Beam, Brian pulled out his phone. The first call he placed was to Cynthia advising her to get legal on the contract extension for Farley's Steakhouse right away. He called Gardner to update him as well. Of course, Vance was delighted about the possibilities while lamenting the fact that he was stuck entertaining people he really couldn't stand. Brian hurriedly ended the phone call wishing him well on getting through the mayhem as Gardner termed it. He had been texting Justin back and forth throughout the evening and was looking forward to a fantastic session of phone sex later. Looking through all of the correspondence thus far, Brian felt an overwhelming wave of lust for the blond hit him even stronger because he couldn't get to him right then. He decided to call knowing the phone would go straight to voice mail since Justin was at work. He began to leave detailed instructions for his lover of which dildo he was to have ready for tonight's festivities. The nine-and-a-half inch blue corkscrewed Pyrex one which also matched Justin's eyes would do nicely for the torturous sexscapade Brian was envisioning. While he was leaving the message the voice behind him, speaking low but still audible was setting its own assignation. It wouldn't have bothered Brian in the least except he knew that voice well... and so did Justin. Brian turned his body surreptitiously to confirm his thoughts and was not surprised to find Ethan Gold. Brian looked away while smiling to himself thinking that Justin really had no need to feel guilty after all. Both of them were getting their needs met, even if it wasn't with each other. He could only hope the voice didn't carry while he was leaving the message on Justin's voice mail but if it did... well they would deal with the fallout when it happened.

 

 

 

Justin arrived at the apartment he once shared with Ethan. He had moved his things- what little he'd brought over in the first place- back over to the loft during Ethan's absence. All that was left now to do was to officially break things off and hand Ethan back his key with well wishes and caviar dreams. As he climbed the stairs for the last time, he thought back to the night he'd found out about Ethan's infidelity if one could call it that. He wasn't mad after all he'd been getting served cock for breakfast, lunch, dinner and in between snacks by Brian on a regular basis since the day of Melanie and Lindsey's anniversary party. Justin in all honesty couldn't even say he was disappointed by the outcome of Ethan and whomever he was with. As far as Justin was concerned he was back where he belonged; where he never should have left and all that remained was severing the remaining tie that binded. So with a clear head, heart and conscience, Justin entered the apartment.

 

Everything looked the same only a bit worse. Ethan's suitcase was wide open on the bed, clothes thrown everywhere. Justin resisted his natural urge to start straightening up- a conditioned response from living with borderline OCD Brian. He almost laughed at that thought alone thinking of the first of the numerous times Brian had yelled at him for leaving his shit around. He kinda missed that "Odd Couple" vibe he and Brian had in the beginning of their relationship. Consequently, looking at Ethan's apartment now made him feel like Felix while Oscar was as messy as ever. Justin found one of his empty sketchbooks which he must have forgotten in his mass exodus from his own personal nightmare on Elm street. Digging around in his pocket for his ever present pen, he opened it to the first page when the apartment door opened wide.

 

"Justin! I was wondering when you would get back," Ethan said cheerfully while readjusting his towel around his midsection.

 

"Hello, Ethan. I was just going to leave a note for you. I heard Harrisburg was a big success. Congratulations."

 

"Oh my God, Justin, you couldn't imagine," he said while almost running toward the blond. Engulfing Justin in a hug, he began to hum one of the tunes he was required to play. "The audience was riveted. Standing ovations every night and requests for encores. There were so many people, Jus."

 

"I guess that kind of attention could get kind of addictive, huh?" Justin asked smiling.

 

"It can but you know I missed you, don't you?" Ethan asked. "Why don't you get out of those clothes so I can show you how much."

 

Justin pulled away from Ethan. "I think Sean would be a better candidate for you to show, don't you?" Justin asked already knowing the answer but enjoying the sudden stop of Ethan's swaying body.

 

"Who? What are you talking about Justin? Who's Sean?"

 

Oh so this is the way we want to play it is it? "Well you tell me, Ethan? Look, it really doesn't matter."

 

"I don't know what you are talking about."

 

"Really?" Justin asked slowly, sardonic smirk still in place.

 

"No. The only Sean I know is a music student. We discussed his options for attending PIFA."

 

"Look I just came by to drop the key off. I hope this thing with Harrisburg turns out really well for you." Justin turned away toward the door to leave.

 

Ethan stopped him. "Wha- what do you mean you came to drop off your key? You're leaving me, Justin?"

 

Justin sighed. He was really hoping this would be easy for both of them. "Yes, Ethan. Brian and I are back together. I really never should have left."

 

"What the hell do you mean you and Brian are back together?"

 

"Just what I said Ethan. I came to tell you the night you left for Harrisburg but I didn't want to ruin your first major break for your career."

 

"Oh how fucking thoughtful of you," Ethan said while sneering at Justin. "So you and he have been fucking since then."

 

"Yes," Justin answered while putting his phone to his ear. Justin was not about to let Ethan play injured party while trying to make him feel bad for being happy. The knock on the door quelled Ethan's steady going tirade. As Ethan crossed the room to answer the door, Justin called out to him. "I think I have something you may want to hear."

 

"I don't want to hear any-" his words came to an abrupt halt at the sight of a dozen red roses. "What are you doing here?"

 

The young man answered, "I wanted to see you again so I drove all the way in from Harrisburg."

 

Justin smiled from behind Ethan. "Well come in. Harrisburg is a long drive, isn't it Ethan?"

 

Ethan maintained his stunned silence as the young man crossed the threshold of the dingy apartment.

 

"Are you his roommate or something?"

 

"Not exactly. I'm Justin by the way."

 

"Sean. Sean Ingles."

 

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Sean. We were just talking about you."

 

"Really?" Sean's eyes lit up at Justin's announcement.

 

"Yes, indeed. In fact, I think Ethan should hear what I heard which is how I knew about you. What do you think, Ethan?"

 

Justin was thoroughly enjoying Ethan discomfiture. He couldn't understand why the brunet continued to lie even after he'd basically told him that there wasn't a reason to. There was no way Justin was going to change his mind about Brian. There was no way Justin was staying with Ethan so why?

 

"How am I supposed to go on without you Justin? You're my muse," Ethan pleaded.

 

"Bullshit. Sean is here now so you'll survive. Besides all you ever cared about was your music anyway. Good luck to you both." And with that, Justin left the apartment with the man still looking forlornly at him while the guy with the red roses looked passionately at the musician.

 

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Office Politics

 

Justin knew there was bound to be trouble. In truth it was his own fault but what the hell. He and Brian had been over this scenario billions of times in the last two weeks. In Justin's mind, mixing business and pleasure was nothing new to them so why should it start to be a problem now? Hell even Brian paying for his tuition is a business deal so why should Justin accepting the internship at Vanguard be any different? Brian said that Justin should want to be someplace where his own merit was looked at and not the fact that he was sleeping with the boss. Justin agreed with that and had suggested that for the duration of the internship, they shouldn't fuck. As imagined that caused a world war sized argument with neither side bending (literally and figuratively) and Justin citing that he needed some time away from the life-deciding ogre Brian had become. So in defiance and fuck it!- because he wanted to- Justin went on and applied to the Art Department at Vanguard Enterprises. He was chosen out of fifteen other candidates without any input from the ad exec-turned-partner who was also his partner and he was damn proud of himself. He asked Daphne if he could stay at her place last week and had been there ever since.

 

Stepping off of the elevator, Justin looked left first, then right making sure that there was no sign of Mr. Kinney and scurried along to the last door down the long hall, arriving just in time. Had he stopped to think about the noises surrounding the busy office he might have heard his name and the voice of the one person he was trying his damnedest to avoid like the plague.

 

"What do I have to do to speed up the work on the Iconix campaign. Issue pay cuts, hand out pink slips?" Brian hinted at his Art Director, Murph, enjoying the sudden flush of color in the normally pale man's cheeks.

 

"No need for that, Brian. Besides the busy work should move smoother soon. The new intern starts today." Taking a deep breath in relief, Murph continued. "Oh here he is. Justin Taylor, I'd like you to meet Brian Kinney, one of the partners."

 

Justin was just setting his coat down on the nearest chair when he heard the name he didn't think he'd hear for at least a couple of hours. Schooling his expressive features to nonchalance and praying there was no telling flustered features on his face or his possibly shaking hand, he extended his hand to his secret lover- well at least within the office. "Nice to meet you, Mr. Kinney." Justin was proud of the steadiness of his voice and gratified by the look of momentary shock on Brian's face. Score one for Sunshine!

 

Brian took the proffered hand reading the triumph in the younger man's eyes. "You know usually all intern applicants go through me. Murph how did Mr. Taylor's resume skip by me this time?" His tone was casual while his grip on Justin's hand was anything but.

 

Murph hurriedly answered. "Gardner knew you would be busy with Farley, Iconix and the big named client who shall remain nameless," Murph said venomously so Brian knew he referred to Jim Stockwell, "so he advised that until further notice all internship applicants were to go to him so that you could concentrate on those campaigns."

 

"Ah, I see. That explains the lack of candidates gracing my desk lately. Well I think I should at least get to know the latest edition to my art department since technically I'm his boss. Follow me, Taylor." Brian breezed by Murph expecting Justin to obediently follow. "By the way, Murph, if those new boards aren't redone by two o'clock there really will be some pink slips handed out, beginning with you."

 

Murph's nervous laughter reached his ears followed by the normally soft-spoken man barking out orders. Exactly what he needed to hear in that moment. Brian was seething at Justin for being deliberately disregarded. He'd thought they discussed all the implications of Justin working here at this agency but as usual, Justin went off full-cocked without taking Brian's position into consideration. To Justin, this was all about asserting himself and his independence- Brian could respect that. But on the flip side of this situation, it would just be looked at by those they were trying to keep out of their business as another form of Justin leaning on him, of taking advantage of him. Brian didn't want that kind of innuendo to become ammunition for more assassinations of Justin's character.

 

He ushered Justin into the office advising Cynthia to hold his calls before slamming the door. At her look of pleasure and surprise, Cynthia was already figuring that there would be trouble in paradise before Justin's first day was even underway. She was the only one aware of the connection between Brian Kinney, partner and Justin Taylor, intern. She looked at the time, secretly smiling to herself. It would give her the greatest pleasure to tell Michael that Brian was in a meeting and not to be disturbed for any reason. She wasn't especially fond of his friends Michael and Lindsey but she kept her own counsel. She only hoped he remembered to turn his cell phone off.

 

It would have doubled her pleasure to know that Brian had indeed put his phone on silent and shoved it in the top drawer of his desk, taking his time and while eying the young man seated on the other side of his desk so casually. He took his seat in the high-backed chair waiting... just waiting for Justin to break the silence. It was hard as hell not to eye-fuck him with him looking a combination of a professional man and desirable twink. The longish hair which Brian missed grabbing in bed, had grown even longer and made his fingers itch. Justin slid his tongue over his lips just as Brian was thinking of all the ways he would like to bend him over the chrome and glass desk. Brian followed the movement with one of his own knowing that they had to get to talking before his imagination and fantasy overruled his desire to clear the air between them.

 

"What are you doing here?"

 

"I was going to tell you but I wanted to make sure I had the job first."

 

"You don't have it. And don't play games, Justin. Not right now."

 

Justin folded his lips under before responding. "As you know, I am required to get three internship credits before I graduate."

 

"Yes but there are other agencies where I don't work. So gather your things and I'll tell Murph you're done."

 

Justin bristled at that. "Hey no fair. Vanguard is the best and would look great on my resume unless..."

 

"Unless what?"

 

"I had no idea that our former relationship was still a problem for you."

 

"Who said it was a problem and who ever said it was a relationship?"

 

Justin shrugged. "Then I can see no reason for you to terminate my employment and stop me from getting my education...which you're paying for."

 

Brian smirked at Justin's deviousness. Fucking 1500 on his SATs pain in the ass. Truthfully he had to admire the kid. No not a ‘kid' anymore but a man who had outmaneuvered him. It was a gutsy move that even he couldn't say he wouldn't have taken. All Brian could do was hope they were prepared for the fallout which there was likely to be since they once again publicly operated the same place and space beyond what they had at the diner. Brian cleared his throat. "Just don't expect any special treatment."

 

"I never did." The smug smile on Justin's face proved that they had reached an understanding and a truce of sorts.

 

"Good. Then I suggest you get to work."

 

"Yes, Mr. Kinney." Justin rose gracefully from his seat, brushing off the imaginary lint and smoothing his hands down the front of his slacks.

 

Brian rose as well, moving quickly to halt Justin's retreat from the office. "One more thing...I missed you." he lowered his head quickly planting a kiss on the lips he'd missed for the past week. He was lost when Justin returned the kiss with the same degree of passion letting him know he was also missed. When he released the lips he dreamed about, he had no choice but to stare at Justin. He knew the look of longing matched his own. "See you at home later?"

 

The sunshine smile which greeted his question nearly stole his breath as Justin murmured, "Later."

 

One thing he could honestly say if only to himself, his days at Vanguard just got a whole lot more interesting.

 

 

 

Brian and Justin developed a routine which hadn't exactly gone unnoticed by the staff but wasn't commented on in the presence of either man. Although they would arrive at the office separately, whomever made it to the coffeemaker first would grab two cups and fix the other's coffee as well as their own. Brian had ordered Justin to work on his team after reviewing the art submitted with his application. There wasn't a doubt that Justin was a talented artist but Brian pushed him hard, picking apart his work mercilessly in which Justin would go back redesign and present the new and improved work to his boss. Many times Gardner had pulled Brian into the office to ask why he treated the boy the way he did and Brian's only response was, "There's greatness in him. He can do much better than what he's shown." After hearing his answer, Gardner let Brian have full control over the young intern with stellar results. Of course working Justin to the bone and hard did have its drawbacks which sometimes resulted in Brian being denied access to the twink's magnificent ass or bruising from a midday bout of angry sex in which Justin would appear at the office and stand for the rest of the afternoon whereas Brian would have a noticeable limp after lunch.

 

Things boiled to a head on the afternoon of the Iconix meeting. Ms. McQuaid had asked the boards to be revised based on an idea from the top executive of her company. Because of the short notice and his heavy class schedule, Justin was unable to make the revisions on the campaign. Because he had done the original, Brian felt he had a right to be there but had advised Justin to keep quiet even if he noticed something he would have done differently. It was Justin's first time actually being included in the meeting so naturally he was a bit nervous. It was one thing to be responsible for the art work but another entirely to be included among executives. As his nerves continued to get the best of him, Justin had dropped on of the boards as Brian and Gardner were making their pitch. He mouthed the word sorry to Brian as Gardner was saying his piece. Justin studied the boards as the other occupants of the room did, making mental changes along the way. It was what he did as an artist and was second nature to him.

 

"Would you buy a pair of these sunglasses?" Ms. McQuaid asked.

 

"Uh, sure," he answered. He chanced a look over to Brian who in turn narrowed his eyes. He silently went back to studying the board, presenting himself as a statue while disregarding the eyes he felt as they traveled the length of his body.

 

"I like the layout but something's wrong," the sales rep for Iconix said.

 

"The focus groups said that they liked this one," Gardner said.

 

"I don't like the lettering."

 

"We can certainly change the font, can't we Brian?"

 

"Sure."

 

"It's not the font but the color," she insisted. "It's..."

 

"Consider this Ms. McQuaid, you'll be ahead of the wave instead of riding it."

 

Before she could respond, a small voice beside her breathed out, "Orange."

 

"What? What did you say?" she asked looking at the slight young blond standing next to her still studying the board.

 

Justin shook himself from his revere just realizing he'd spoken aloud. "Nothing."

 

"No. You said orange."

 

He glanced over to the other men at the table, one in rapt attention and silently encouraging him to explain himself while the other wore a forbidding scowl that Justin knew he'd have to answer for later.

 

"In art school, orange is the new blue. It's something hot instead of cool and draws the eye."

 

"Orange," she whispered, mulling it over. "I want orange."

 

"Then orange it shall be, right Brian? Great job, young man," Gardner said happy to have landed the account.

 

"You have a real catch in this young man," Ms. McQuaid praised. "Keep your eye on him or he'll have your job."

 

She threw a wink at Justin who in turn smiled back at her. The bright smile disappeared just as quick when he looked over at Brian's face as Gardner and Ms. McQuaid continued to talk about the logistics of the deal. He couldn't help but swallow hard around the small lump which had lodged itself in his throat. He knew Brian was going to be upset and possibly take it out on his ass later. Justin wasn't sure whether to feel anticipation or real fear. He guessed he'd find out soon enough. Justin went back to the art department to work on other projects while leaving the three remaining occupants to hash out the finer points of the contract. He stopped inside the break room, grabbing himself a much needed cup of coffee.

 

"What? Only one cup this time?" Murph asked him from behind. Justin could have sworn he was all alone when he entered.

 

"Yeah unless you would like me to make you a cup as well, Murph," Justin answered while pouring. "Do you take cream or sugar?"

 

"I know who you are, Sunshine."

 

Justin remained outwardly calm although his pulse was beginning to race. "I know who you are too, Murph."

 

"You know what I mean, Justin. Don't play dumb; it doesn't become you."

 

"Will you just say whatever it is you want already? You know as well as I do that I have to get back to work, Murph. Hell you're one of my bosses."

 

Murph narrowed his eyes at that comment. "You would do well to remember that, Taylor."

 

"Okay so what is this about really?"

 

"You really don't remember, do you?"

 

"Remember what?"

 

Lowering his voice, he leaned toward Justin while looking around to make sure they wouldn't be overheard. "You fucked me a couple of months ago at the Baths."

 

Justin laughed. "Oh is that all? That must have been the last time I was there which was about three months ago during ‘No Towels Night.'"

 

"Yeah and you were in the company of Brian Kinney. I didn't put two and two together until I was at the diner the other night and Kiki waited on me. You were just coming in for your shift."

 

Justin had an uneasy feeling wash over him but he adopted a stoic expression to cover it. "It's no secret that I work at the Liberty Diner and have been for a little over three years."

 

"It's also no secret that you are fucking your boss."

 

"He wasn't my boss when I applied here and since he didn't know that I was applying here he also didn't have a word with Gardner to make sure I got the job. You and Gardner selected me out of fifteen other candidates so that more than qualifies me to keep it." This was the bullshit Brian was afraid of.

 

"I wondered how you were moving up the ‘corporate ladder' so fucking fast. Working on accounts that seasoned professionals have been vying for since they arrived here. All you had to do was ride the top dick and voila, instant promotion."

 

Justin was tempted to punch the man in his face but smiled instead. "It sounds like you're jealous, Murph. Let me guess. You've been trying to get into Brian's pants ever since both you and he worked for Ryder but Brian doesn't fuck his coworkers.

 

"He fucks you!"

 

"True but I was his partner long before I was his coworker. I didn't need him to get this job and I certainly don't need him to keep it."

 

Before Murph could respond another voice entered the conversation.

 

"That's enough, Murph," Cynthia said, venom lacing her voice. "Whatever or whomever Brian does away from this office doesn't concern you or anyone else. Now, I suggest you get back to the Art Department before you either have an uproar of a different kind since Bob and Brad are at it again or before I tell Brian about this highly inappropriate conversation with a Vanguard intern." She finished with a smile that did not reach her blue eyes and in that moment Justin understood why she and Brian worked so well together.

 

Murph threw one last threatening look at Justin before practically running from the break room. Justin returned the look without flinching under the watchful eyes of Cynthia. She had known Brian and Justin's history to date but hearing it from a scorned point of view shed new light on the attraction she had always questioned. It appeared that Justin was a Brian Kinney, Junior in regards to sex and yet she could see what they felt for each other regardless of their promiscuous lifestyle. She had heard the one-sided arguments between the two headstrong men; had seen the care Brian had given and ordered regarding Justin after the bashing; had even witnessed one of Justin's panic attacks and Brian's heartbreak which he tried his best to hide his feelings behind work after Justin left him but nothing had affected her as much as seeing the inner fire returned to Brian after Justin came back. Together they were making Vanguard history... providing they can keep their acts together.

 

"I'm sorry, Cynthia," Justin said when they were alone again.

 

"I know, Justin. Perhaps now you understand why Brian was leery of you working here."

 

Justin nodded. "I get it now but the problem may be solved sooner than later I suspect."

 

"Why don't we just see what happens in that regard, okay? In the meantime, the boss would like to see you in his office at quitting time."

 

"Well at least he'll let me keep my dignity in front of Murph instead of firing my ass publicly," Justin said, despair evident in his tone.

 

"For what it's worth, you're doing a kick-ass job here and I've told Brian so. If he ever wants to start his own company at least he already has a top notch artist."

 

"Thanks, Cynthia. That means a lot coming from you." Justin put his cup of coffee in the microwave to reheat it.

 

"Well that's Brian. He only surrounds himself with the best. Look how long he's had me." Cynthia laughed gratified that her attempt at levity brought the sunshine back in Justin's smile. "Now we'd better get back to work before he has cause to put us both out to pasture."

 

"Yes, ma'am. And thanks again for the defense and the talk, Cyn." Justin moved away, taking a deep breath as he went to face Murph and the rest of the department. He would do his best to stay clear of any confrontation no matter what was said or insinuated for the rest of the afternoon. Lord, knew he already had enough to deal with in the form of an angry Brian Kinney.

 

 

 

Justin pushed himself and his hand for the remainder of the afternoon. He was determined that no matter how the situation in Brian's office played out, he wouldn't leave anything for Murph to fuck up as a vendetta. He suspected that the problem with the older man was that he didn't give repeat performances. It was the one area he'd fucked up with Ethan; what classified it as an affair. It still pissed him off that he was the one to break that rule but at least he understood why he did it. At the time it began he couldn't really see what was happening with him and neither could Brian. It took leaving the one thing- the one person- he really cared about to see how he was punishing himself. Now that the situation was fixed, he had to work on forgiving himself and that wasn't an easy thing to do.

 

He said good night to those who were leaving the office as he went on with his work. Murph was lingering but Justin decided he would just ignore him. There was an old Bible verse he remembered from Sunday school back when he was a churchgoing Protestant: Resist the devil and he will flee. He hoped that was the one scripture that was true. He kept his head down, willing himself to concentrate on the intricacy of the design for Farley's Fine Dining which Brian would be presenting later on in the week. He had to otherwise the his hand would begin to shake and the damask print would be ruined causing him to begin again. Justin refused to let the presence of Murph or the remnant specter of Chris Hobbs keep him from working to achieve the look he wanted for the campaign.

 

"You know, you should really go home. No one's paying you overtime," Murph sneered.

 

"I'm not asking them to but I don't want to leave this until I'm done," Justin said distractedly.

 

He could tell when Murph shrugged before he said, "Suit yourself, kid."

 

"I will, thanks for your permission to do so. Good night, Murph."

 

He heard the door to the department slam shut and breathed a small sigh of relief. He was still working when he heard it open again ten minutes later. He felt Brian's presence before he looked up to see the man with the ever present scowl on his face.

 

"Weren't you due in my office about forty-five minutes ago?"

 

"Blame it on your bulldog Art Director. Anyway I'll be finished this in just a moment."

 

Brian crossed over to him. "What are you working on?"

 

"Farley."

 

Brian took a closer look at what Justin had done, noticing the slight tremor in his hand. "Not bad but I think it's time to rest that hand."

 

"Not yet, Brian. Besides, I didn't want to leave it for Murph to deliberately fuck up in case I'm unable to."

 

"Why wouldn't you be able to?" Brian asked, genuinely puzzled. He'd received an earful from Cynthia upon his arrival back to his office from the conference room. It took every ounce of willpower he had not to go down to the art department, fire Murph then kick his ass and then berate Justin for being the cause of it.

 

"After my faux pas in front of Ms. McQuaid, why wouldn't I think you were going to fire me?"

 

Brian sighed. "It wasn't a mistake and you know it. Your ideas are fresh and exciting to the clients we're bringing in but I didn't like being undermined in front of her. See that it doesn't happen again."

 

"I'm sorry, Brian. I wasn't trying to undermine you, it just slipped out and then she asked me to repeat it."

 

"I know; I was there and sorry is bullshit. If I could have had you do the boards in the first place that wouldn't have happened. In any event, we need to go to my office."

 

"What for? Can't you just tell me what you need to tell me now?"

 

"No. We need to get a few things straight and as I can see if we're here where you can work, you'll get distracted. I want you undivided attention."

 

Justin looked up from the board he was finishing, reading the seriousness in Brian's eyes. Whatever it was that they needed to discuss was serious. Suppressing a sigh, Justin put the board away "and shut down his workstation. Gathering his coat and scarf, he was surprised to find that Brian had packed up his art supplies and grabbed his messenger bag which freed his troubled right hand. "I can carry it you know?"

 

"I know that but the sooner you collect the rest of your things, the faster we can make it to my office. You're already technically an hour late."

 

"Yes, Master," Justin teased earning him a smile from Brian.

 

They walked in semi-comfortable silence to the large office. Upon entry, Brian told Justin to close the door. At first he thought it odd since there wasn't anyone but the two of them still on Vanguard's floor but Brian always had his reasons so Justin complied. He settled himself in the chair as he had when he'd first met Brian in his office.

 

"So how was your first month here?"

 

"It was fine, Brian. I'm learning a lot and mostly everyone is incredibly nice."

 

"That's good but that's not the full reason why I brought you in here."

 

"Oh?" Justin somehow suspected that but held off on drawing his own conclusions since Brian said he wasn't going to fire him.

 

"No. I think we need to renegotiate the terms of our situation."

 

"Which situation exactly? And which terms?"

 

Brian leaned back in his office chair studying the man across from him. In the month since Justin had been working at Vanguard, they still kept to their routine. Brian and Justin would arrive at work separately, work all day, leave the office separately, fuck for half the night until they were exhausted then Justin would nap, get up and head over to Daphne's to begin the cycle all over again. With Murph's revelations earlier in the day, Brian couldn't see a reason for the cycle to continue. It was just a matter of getting Justin on board with Brian "Fuck'em" way of thinking. Brian cleared his throat and folded his hands on top of his desk once he decided how to broach to the subject.

 

"It's occurred to me that we have an ongoing problem, Justin."

 

"And that is?"

 

"Our agreement to how we approach this employer-intern relationship is no longer acceptable."

 

"What? I thought you said you weren't firing me," Justin said already calling up a list of refuting arguments to keep his job.

 

Brian watched Justin's mind go into overdrive. He couldn't help the silent chuckle vibrating his chest as he saw the thoughts cross the mutinous face he loved so well. "Calm down, Sunshine. Stop jumping to conclusions."

 

"Well what else am I supposed to jump to Brian? You have pushed me off so many of your damn cliffs already that I'm not sure how I'm supposed to react to such a statement," Justin responded, his agitation clear in his tone.

 

"Fair enough so I will get to the point."

 

"I would appreciate it." Justin rolled his eyes.

 

Brian folded his lips inward to keep from laughing out loud. Justin really was adorable when he was irritated. Not that Brian would ever tell him that but it made what he had to say even more palatable since he'd missed that look. "I want you to move back in."

 

"What?"

 

"I want you to move back in," Brian repeated. "But there are some things we have to agree on."

 

"Like what?"

 

"The old rules- some of them are impossible to keep although I do agree about the no kissing and the one-fuck policy."

 

"I'm really sorry I broke those, Brian."

 

Brian looked Justin straight in the eye to let him know that he'd forgiven him. "I know and I know based on our conversation upon the roof that there was an issue with you. That being said I think we should have ‘just us'- planned away from Liberty Avenue, where we can do what we want without eyes prying." He refused to call them ‘date nights.'

 

Justin smiled. "Who the fuck are you and what have you done with Brian Kinney?"

 

"It's me, Smartass. These last two months helped me to see what it was that you were saying and I have to agree. It's been- God I hate this word- nice to not have people sticking their nose where it doesn't belong. I also agree that we can't remain a secret forever. I miss fucking you in the Backroom and at the Baths and molesting you on the dancefloor. I've never been one to hide and I don't want to continue doing so now."

 

"It's fine by me since I miss all those things too. What else?"

 

"If you have a problem, talk to me about it first and I'll try to do the same."

 

"That's a given. I thought we already agreed to that."

 

"I thought so to until I had to hear from Cynthia about what happened in the break room with Murph." Brian didn't bother to hide the displeasure from his voice.

 

Justin dropped his eyes. "I had it handled and I wasn't in the mood for ‘I told you so.'"

 

"Regardless of the fact that I did tell you so, you've more than held and pulled your own weight around here."

 

"How would it have looked if I went running to my boss who just happens to be my part-time lover over the nonsense Murph was spouting, Brian? Think about how you would have reacted coming out of that meeting where you were already pissed off at me. You're not exactly known for your quiet demeanor."

 

"I still would have like it if you would have told me if someone was giving you shit."

 

"Fine. Murph is giving me shit."

 

Brian snickered. He couldn't help it. It was classic bratty Justin behavior. "Okay so you have a point. Would you have told me though?"

 

Justin thought a moment. "I honestly don't know, Brian. The fact is I'm just an intern here but long after I'm gone, you still have to work with these people. I'm perfectly capable of handling shit like this on my own. It's not the first time someone discounted my ability or my brain just because I'm blond with a great ass."

 

Brian knew he was referring to Mikey but let it go. Michael had said as much since the first morning after Brian took Justin to bed. It seemed that the people who was supposed to know him- to know them- constantly disregarded just how smart and capable Justin really was. They rejected the idea that Brian could and would actually be involved with Justin for reasons other than sex. True, sex with Justin is what hooked him but it didn't keep him. There were thousands of tricks out there, some of which Brian already fucked but there was only one Justin.

 

"Is there anything else you want to add, Sunshine?"

 

"No I think you about covered everything."

 

Brian nodded. "Well I think it's time you start the requirement of working long, hard hours right now."

 

Justin smiled, the innuendo of Brian's words not lost on him. He got up to lock the already closed office door. When he turned back around, Brian was leaning casually against the desk with this arms folded looking both dangerous and sexy as sin. Justin took a slow stroll toward him, heightening the anticipation for them both. He couldn't recall the exact number of fantasies over the last four weeks he'd had of fucking Brian in his office. As he closed that last bit of distance, Brian pulled him to him roughly. The first press of their mouths was deep, gentle and meaningful. Justin pulled back to stare into the hazel eyes he knew so well. He was so tempted to began singing that little love ditty he had long ago when Brian first found out that Justin applied to schools out of state. But now was not the time. Instead it was a time to resume their public sex addiction even if it was within the confines of Brian's office. The idea of the danger of getting caught in the otherwise empty office, rocketed their arousal. Justin felt Brian's hand slide down the front of his body just seconds before his pullover sweater was whipped over his head. His hair caressing the nape of his neck had never felt so erotic as it did in this moment. They attacked each other's lips ferociously, sliding their tongues against each other while fighting to get free of the barriers between them. Justin pulled back to help Brian out of his shirt, not being able to hold the laugh in when he realized Brian forgot to remove his cuff links from his shirtsleeves. He took his time releasing each wrist while stealing laughing and biting kisses from Brian in the process. It was playful, hot and fun all at the same time and Justin loved every second of it.

 

Once freed Brian pressed Justin as close as he could get. The scent of the younger man had always driven Brian wild but for some reason it worked its magic stronger than ever. Perhaps it was the relief both was finding now that even more terms had been defined or perhaps it was the secret fantasy Brian had going which was getting fulfilled. Whatever it was, Brian wanted to freeze time so that it wouldn't end. With one sweep of his arm, he cleared the top of the glass desk behind him. He knew he would regret it tomorrow when he had to sort through the mess but he couldn't bring it to himself to care. Justin was here with him in this office with the world locked outside. He laid the supple alabaster body down on the cool surface, enjoying the involuntary shiver which roiled the younger man creating the most sensual movement Brian had ever seen. Justin cried out at the first contact arching his back to get away but unable to stop himself from moaning when Brian pressed him against the glass again. Justin was just as much of a hedonist as Brian and the older man couldn't be happier for that then at the moment.

 

"Fuck it's cold, Brian," Justin groaned out.

 

"You know you like it," Brian teased back.

 

"I like your dick better," he responded while shifting a bit upward and back so his body was more fully on the strong table but his head hung off. He directed Brian into the position he wanted him and engulfed his cock in one gulp.

 

Brian felt the heat of the most talented and exuberant mouth he'd ever fucked. He couldn't keep his hips from bucking even as he couldn't keep his hand from Justin's throat to feel himself sliding in and out. It was one of the times he appreciated that Justin didn't have a gag reflex. Justin's hair tickled Brian's flexing thighs with every forward lunge as Justin continued to swallow around the bulbous head. The sight alone had Brian wanting to spend himself in that hot, wet cavity but he had other plans. Brian took this time to prepare Justin eliciting moans and sighs around his dick. Brian was practically vibrating from the heated exchange.

 

"That's enough, Justin," he said hoarsely, trying his best to block out the sensation while Justin kept sucking hard and strong.

 

Justin hummed steadily around it almost making Brian lose his vaunted control. Brian knew what Justin was doing- pulling him to the brink and keeping him there indefinitely. But not tonight. At least not right now. Brian used his last bit of will to pinch Justin's nostrils closed causing him to release his dick. Without missing a moment of opportunity, Brian hurried around the desk, grabbing the condom and lube from his discarded trousers. He felt the cerulean eyes watching and cataloging his every movement; the tremors of anticipation almost making Justin come undone. His nostrils flared as he sucked down air rapidly; the rise and fall of his chest demonstrating the just how aroused Justin was. Brian knew he was close to orgasm; Justin being the only person he knew who could get off performing fellatio. The man truly was a gem. Brian dressed his cock and lubed the condom sparingly knowing already how Justin wanted to be fucked. Justin moaned when Brian took both of his legs, sliding him closer to the edge of the desk and hooking them onto his shoulders.

 

"Yes," Justin hissed.

 

Brian smiled as the word subconsciously fell from the blond's parted lips. This was shaping up even better than Brian's daily fantasies of Justin on top of his desk. "Ready?"

 

Justin locked his ankles behind Brian's head knowing that it made his already tight channel ever more so. Brian inserted his fingers inside to gauge how hard he could slide home. Justin groaned in response, the digits feeling good as they probed him. "I'm ready, Brian."

 

"Hard and fast tonight?"

 

"Yes please." Justin barely released the words when Brian dove in. Justin folded himself in half, grabbing Brian's neck aiding with the entry.

 

"Oh God," Brian moaned. "Stay. Just. Like. That," he panted out as he continued his descent into Justin's abyss.

 

Once he reached bottom, he pulled halfway out and thrust in again more forcefully. The incoherent moans and sighs from his partner spurred Brian on. He built up a rhythm and picked up speed as Justin pushed his hips up into him. Both were tireless lovers and each realized they could never have this with anyone else. If Brian pushed, Justin shoved and vice versa. They fucked on the desk long and hard, their collective sweat acting as a lubing agent, lessening the friction between Justin's back and the glass surface while providing Brian the leverage he needed to pound Justin's ass as hard as the younger man demanded it. When the culmination hit, both Brian and Justin were surprised by its intensity. The electricity ignited in both of their spines at the same time causing them to race together toward their looming climax. The urgency rode each man both individually and collectively. Eyes locked on one another's, they dared not look away; couldn't even if they wanted to- both naked in so many ways beyond the physical. Finally their internal waves crashed, battering them, shattering them and remaking them. Justin released hard on his chest while feeling Brian's cock paying its tribute within the latex inside him. Eyes still watching and communicating, they rode the crests until they died down to small aftershocks. No words were needed and none were spoken as Brian and Justin officially became a couple... again.

 

BJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJBJ

 

Rude Awakenings

 

Michael was relieved when everyone started speaking to him again but he still couldn't bring himself to personally apologize to Justin. He could admit to them that what he said was way out of line and that he was wrong but to admit that to Justin Taylor just...well it just wasn't palatable to him. In his mind, he hadn't said anything that wasn't true- well with exception of the whole Brian should have left him bleeding thing. He was just upset and his comment should have been disregarded. Instead he'd gotten soundly punched for it by the little shit. Ben had been trying to urge him to apologize touting his eastern philosophy of what you put out into the universe comes back one-hundred fold. But while Michael opted to apologize to Brian and the others, he hoped in that in some roundabout way, it would get back to Justin. Based on the controlled professional demeanor and abject coldness toward the short brunet either his apology wasn't accepted or it wasn't received. Michael chose to believe the former because he refused to believe that no one would run interference for him with getting back into the good graces of Justin Taylor. As far as the group were concerned, it was Michael's mess and if he was bold enough to say it, he should stop being a coward and own up to it and each had told Michael so. They also agreed that Justin didn't owe Michael anything-- not even forgiveness-- but that Michael should at least make the effort. As usual, Michael heard what he wanted to hear, taking selective parts of the truth which he felt applied and burying the rest of it somewhere deep in his subconscious and never to be  remembered again.

The fact was he'd had plenty of opportunities to fix things himself, both privately and publicly. Justin had resumed his job at the diner the day after Melanie and Lindsey's party. Although Michael had been un-welcomed there until Debbie forgave him, he hadn't been banned either. For Justin's part, he treated Michael like any other patron in the eatery. Michael placed his order, Justin took it, served it and left with his tip...or not. Regardless of Michael's feelings about it, Justin did his job so conversation of any kind wasn't necessary beyond that. But there were the orders and requests for new issues of Rage to consider so Michael had two options: either find a new artist or make up with Justin. He'd chosen to find a new artist. Only that didn't work so well either. There were several disgruntled customers returning their copies and requesting full refunds of the comic citing that the graphics wasn't up to par and suggesting that he get the original artist back. The whole fucking situation with Justin stunk and it was all the kid's fault for being so stubborn.

 

Tonight he was just looking forward to drinking and dancing. Brian had finally returned his call saying that he was in the mood for a night out at Babylon. Michael was happy that Brian had finally gotten over Boy Wonder and was ready to start living again. Each of the guys headed to the bar for drinks and then up the stairs to the catwalk to wait for the man of the hour. Brian was always fashionably late but who could blame him. The man was a demi-god among the sea of gay men- God's gift to Gay PA. When he'd first heard his mom refer to Brian that way, he thought she was exaggerating but as Brian's best friend and sidekick, he witnessed firsthand how right she was. Michael scanned the outskirts of the crowd looking for Brian while Ben and Emmett bopped to the Cha-Cha inspired music pumping through Babylon's sound system he really wished Brian would hurry so they could dance before he and Ben had to leave. It was Ben's day for early morning classes and he always wanted to study his notes the night before.

 

"Shit. Don't tell me the asshole did this again," Michael mumbled.

 

"Did what, Baby?" Ben put his muscular arm around Michael still swaying to the catchy tune blasting.

 

"I'm talking about Brian standing us up again. I wonder what it is this time," Michael whined in his annoyance.

 

Emmett was just about to respond when he felt a light tap from Teddy on his right shoulder. The slight head nod in the direction of the dancefloor caught Em's immediate attention. Even from his vantage point, Em could tell the couple was lost in their own world while swaying and feeling each other up. He wanted to make sure he wasn't the only one seeing the blond and brunet which so closely resembled two of the most beautiful men of his acquaintance. "Am I seeing what I think I'm seeing?" he asked no one in particular.

 

Ben looked closely as well. "Yes you're witnessing the most historic reunification since Germany." He smiled watching Brian and Justin enjoying themselves on the dancefloor. Justin kissed his way up Brian's neck as Brian ran his fingers through the silken blond tresses. Ben had to admit, if only to himself, that he was glad Brian and Justin were back together. He chanced a glance over at his boyfriend who had the most amazing scowl on his face. Fuck! When will he learn to let go of Brian? Ben stared at Michael's fixated look for a few more seconds before turning his attention back to the dancefloor.

 

"What happened to the fiddler?" Emmett asked innocently.

 

"He fell off the roof," Michael responded. The bitterness in his voice couldn't be mistaken even if one didn't know him.

 

Emmett and Ben exchanged looks again but didn't say anything further. Instead they opted to have a good time and enjoy the floor show which Brian and Justin was giving in abundance. Eyes closed and pressed so tightly together a dime couldn't fit between them, the lovers were unaware- and most likely uncaring- of being watched. The music break found Brian and Justin's lips locked passionately together as confetti rained down on them from above. To the people who didn't know them, it was sweet and romantic- a dream probably many of the men themselves wished for. But to the few within Babylon who knew the story of reigning King of Liberty Avenue and his Prince personally, this was a righteous ending to a battle long fought and won hard. A certain few would always be jealous while the others wouldn't begrudge the duo their happiness....but that's another tale for another time!

 

 

 

I saw you walking down the street and fell for you after just one glimpse

 

Come back to me again, don't ever go away again

 

Kiss my lips, caress my body. Kiss me, Kiss me, kiss me.*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Namtrak vs. Chris Zippel- Viva Columbia (Cha Cha) QAF Season 3 Soundtrack

 

 

 

(Beginning of episode 309- translated)

End Notes:

Thanks in advance for all who have read and/or reviewed! Much Love!

~Nichelle

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