Midnight Whispers
QAF Brian and Justin Fanfiction

Brian hesitated. He had so many questions. But now that Angel was here, he didn’t know where to start. However, the last thing angel had said about being married... Of course Brian had seen both of them wore rings, but he had always been very good at ignoring what suited him.


"Do you see how it’s impossible that this life were my life? I would never have gotten married. I don’t even believe in couples, let alone tie the knot. Justin must have been really insistent, and the other Brian, a dickless fag."


"I see you still don’t understand anything. It was you, well, the other Brian as you like to say, who really had to insist. He had to ask him to marry twice, because Justin said no the first time. However, he didn’t surrender. He even bought a mansion to show how serious he was. But the other Brian had the courage to overcome his fears, and to go for what he wanted. It wasn’t easy, I assure you. But he learned his lesson and in return, got his reward."


"With “mansion”, you're not referring to that little house on the suburbs of aspiring hetero life, right?" Angel sighed in mild irritation.


"That little house, as you call it, is a good home. But no, I mean a real mansion. Justin was referring to it as a palace."


"And what the hell happened?"


"The crisis, Brian. Before, you wondered if Kinnetik is doing so badly that, in your opinion, you are so poor. Nope. In this life, you have so much talent in your job as in any other. In fact, Kinnetik had a brilliant start. But when the brunt of the crisis started, many small businesses, agency clients, went bankrupt, leaving you a lot of money in debt. You managed to retain your large clients.  But still, the situation was very precarious. So you sold the house, and cut costs to the maximum. But you got your agency to continue operating without firing anyone. Justin has never been more proud of you.” Brian thought about that for a moment, but still couldn’t get why did matter so much to maintain the agency. The smart thing to do would have been to sell, recover as much money as possible, and wait for the situation to improve, maybe even change cities. However, he didn’t comment, and instead turned the conversation to another subject that intrigued him.


"And what about Justin? You won’t try to convince me that he loves playing housewife instead of conquering the art world, as he deserves, right?"


"Justin is not a housewife, or in any case, both of you would be. Both of you share housework and childcare.” Angel couldn’t avoid sarcasm and the mocking laugh that accompanied these words seeing Brian’s face of disbelief. It wasn’t right. He was to help the man, not mock him. But the brunet was so dull. "But as for your question, Justin is very happy. He has achieved what he always wanted...”


"Illustrating children's stories? And what is that about his hand?” Brian interrupted sarcastic.


"You, knucklehead. Surely it’s not a surprise. He left you this very clear from the beginning. What he always wanted was a life with you. And he has it. The illustrations for children's books, maybe don’t seem important to you, but Justin loves his job. His art is like oxygen for him. Moreover, in his spare time, he paints what he wants. I assure you that for him, now, becoming the new Andy Warhol is not the highest priority. Although he hasn’t given up on it. As for the hand, I’m afraid that I’m not authorized to give you that information."


"What the hell? You said you're here to help me, and you hide things from me?"


"It’s not a whim, Brian. I can provide any information that helps you to reach the right conclusion. But this is beyond that category.” Brian looked completely baffled. Just when it seemed that something was starting to make sense... "Okay, I'll just tell you that Justin suffers some mobility issues in his right hand and arm because of an old trauma. But don’t ask me anything.” Brian was thoughtful again. It was clear that this trauma had something to do with him. His instincts told him so. But then again, he wasn’t sure he wanted to know more. After a while, Angel spoke again.


"Brian, we have almost arrived. And I know you have more questions... Questions that you’re afraid to ask. But you have nothing to fear. Remember that I'm on your side.” Brian nervous, bite his lip. He could barely pronounce the word. But Angel understood him perfectly.




"Yes, Brian. Here, too, you did give your parental rights to Mel. But you kept being present in the life of your child. Don’t get me wrong. It is not a reproach because you gave him up in your life. After all, you didn’t have Justin to support you, and push you to claim your place in the boy's life. And to remind you that you're a good father, when you doubt it. But don’t worry, Brian. Nothing is completely immovable. Everything can change if you really want it. Believe it or not, your destiny has always been in your hands."


"So here, my relationship with Gus is perfect." Brian said tongue in cheek.


"Well, not quite. Absolute perfection doesn’t exist, you know it. Your relationship has had its bumps. Especially when the girls decided to move to Canada. You didn’t like it. But you couldn’t prevent it. However, things were pretty tense for a while. You went through a really hard time then. That's why Justin decided to make the proposition of having your own child.  You virtually had just gotten married, and that issue had never arisen. Justin considered sufficient miracle that you had wanted to marry. But, you know him. He has a big heart, and it broke seeing how much you suffered for being away from Gus. To his surprise, and everyone else, you agreed without protest."


"So, that’s when Heather came along..." Brian muttered.


"Exactly. Justin took care of everything. He found the surrogate mother, a college student who volunteered at the Gay and Lesbian Center, like Justin does every evening. But he was adamant demanding that you were the donor. He wanted the baby was yours, like Gus."


"But the baby, Jimmy, Justin is his father, right? He is virtually a miniature photocopy of him."


"Yup. A couple of years ago, when the whole Gus thing was resolved, you decided to return the favor. You even convince Jessica so that the kids would have the same mother. And now, you are a big family. Gus comes to visit often, even the last two years, has spent the summer holidays with you.” Brian stared back at him thoughtfully. So many things. And everything seemed to revolve somehow around Justin. "Well, I think I must go before any of your employees see you talking to the empty passenger seat." Angel said mockingly. They were in front of Kinnetik, and Brian recognized the old building where the Liberty Baths that he used to go had been. Damn, had to grant it to the guy. Perhaps the other Brian wasn’t such a big looser after all. You need to have balls to convert the baths in an office. He didn’t look at the passenger seat. He knew that Angel would have disappeared.


His head was spinning with the quantity of information received as he entered the office. Many revelations, and some of them really surprising were waiting for him. The place definitely had style. But he had hardly taken two steps inside, when he suffered a new shock.


"Good morning, boss." Cynthia greeted him animated. God, Cynthia. He hadn’t seen her since leaving Pittsburgh. He had to admit that he had always liked her. She was smart, efficient and wasn’t impressed by his poses. Surely, she was the only colleague he actually respected. And it seems that here she was still working with him. However, the impression of seeing Cynthia was nothing compared to what he received then.


"Come on, Bri. You shouldn’t have come to work today. You are very pale. Clearly you haven’t recovered from yesterday. You gave us quite a scare.” Ted? Shit, Ted no less; Theodore Smidt, undisputed king of losers WORKED WITH HIM. Just when all this shit started to make some sense, everything was back to complete madness. He was again convinced that someone was playing a very, very bad joke on him. Moving like an automaton, he let to be lead to what he deduced must be his office, and serve a glass of water by Ted.


"I want to be alone." He said in a dangerously soft tone.


"Okay, I guess. If Justin hasn’t been able to convince you to stay home, I have no chance.” Ted said conciliator. And went out, closing the door behind him.


"This is not fucking funny, Angel. You could have warned me, dammit. Why you don’t show up when I really need you?"


"Did you say something, Brian?" Cynthia had just entered, carrying a tray with coffee and toast. It must be business as usual. Brian was silent with the expressionless face that he was able to show, and the blonde said nothing more. Yes, there was some reason why he had always liked her. Since Angel seemed to have no intention of appearing, he decided to take it easy. He sat, drank his coffee, and ate his toast without butter.


Then he started down the office with his eyes. In front of him was a shelf with several awards. With a lump in his throat, recognized the Advertiser of the Year in 2001. Cynthia had accompanied him, and there was where he met his passport to New York. Would have happened in this life too? Then there were pictures, posters of campaigns, apparently rewarded too. One caught his eye, and it was not just because there were five muscled guys, whose only clothing was a worker helmet, holding a plank strategically to their waist. No, what struck him was that it was an ad for Brown Athletics. Of course, he knew the brand of sportswear, but his seat was in Chicago How had the other Brian been able to win that account?


He kept poking. He turned on the computer. But he realized between shocked and amused, he didn’t know the password to access his files. So he devoted himself to surf the internet. At the end of the day, he couldn’t ask his employees what he was supposed to be doing. And, well, it was not his fault if Angel didn’t want to help. Lunch time came, and again the efficient Cynthia brought lunch without comment. Damn, he began to understand what Justin meant calling him a workaholic. Not even he reached such extremes.


And as if he had invoked him think of him, about two o'clock, the door opened and Justin got in all smiles. Behind him, Brian saw all the women... and Ted, cuddling around Jimmy, who was in his stroller, and listening fascinated to Heather. Brian thanked the blond closed the door because he was about to vomit.


"Hello, dear!" Justin sang in mocking falsetto, and planted a kiss on his lips.


"What are you doing here?" Brian couldn’t help asking.


"Well, the drawings are already delivered. And I told Don, that since delivery is ahead, I also wanted an advance on my payment. So, as I have fresh cash...” He said smiling doing fan with a bunch of bills. "I thought we could spend the afternoon together. I have the perfect plan. We'll go to the mall, and take the opportunity to buy a new coat for Heather... and maybe a pair of boots, too. The ones she’s wearing now begin to tighten. It’s amazing how fast children grow, huh? Then we can have a drink, watch a movie... What do you think?"


"In case you have not noticed, this is an office, and I am working." Maybe he was too sharp, but what did you expect? Mall, children, family movie... Each of these things alone, gave him cold sweats, let alone all together. Why didn’t Angel appeared? This wasn’t going anywhere. For his mortification, Justin only sighed, bringing his face close to Brian’s, said:


"You barely spend time with the kids, Brian. They are not my children, are our children, our common project. We're a team, remember? Within days, Heather will have to go back to school, and this is a good opportunity for us to spend time together. I know you work very hard and have great responsibilities. But Ted told me that all Christmas campaigns are underway, and there is nothing that can’t wait until tomorrow.” Justin's voice was so soft, his mouth was so close... Brian couldn’t contain himself, and caught that mouth in a passionate kiss. It grew in intensity. Justin finally broke a little, and between gasps and giggles he said. "Careful, Mr. Kinney. If you want sex at the office, better lock the door.” He didn’t finish to say it when the door burst open.


"Well. Are we going to the mall, or what?" Heather asked sulking.


"Too late." Justin sang in Brian's ear. "Yes, sweetie, we will." And he left the office just in time to rescue the always smiling Jimmy from Ted’s arms, who was preparing to lift him over his head. "Ted, no.  He just ate. Don’t shake him, if you value your suit.” Brian heard from Justin. Heather was still staring at the door. Their eyes met, and Brian was sure that the brat had interrupted them on purpose. She confirmed it.


"You can’t kiss Daddy-Justin. You're not my real dad.” Brian glared, one of those looks that made his employees shit in their pants. But little Heather didn’t flinch.


"Come on, Brian!" Justin yelled, having put Jimmy back in his stroller. "Heather. Weren’t you in such a hurry?" Resigned to his horrible fate, Brian followed them, and they all rode Justin’s van. The blond assured him that would Ted take his car home at the end of the day. Great. He even allowed pathetic Theodore to drive his car.


At the mall, Brian tried hard, or at least that's what he swear if anyone asked. But after the children's clothing store, having to change Jimmy’s sweater, that, indeed, had vomited, and what seemed like endless hours in the shoe store, trying to make Heather accept  brown boots, because they had run out of the red ones that she wanted in her size, the brunet couldn’t stand it anymore. The "family paradise" as the mall was proclaimed, was certainly his hell.


"Brian Where are you going?"


"If I have to endure this torture much longer, I'm going to explode."


"Wow. I see you're still in a foul mood. Really, I thought you'd be able to relax and enjoy your family. But I see you aren’t."


"Have you finished your speech? I have to go out to smoke a cigarette, or I'll go crazy."


"You’re smoking again! What's wrong? It’s been over a year...” Justin couldn’t continue because the clerk came smiling to say they had found a pair of red boots in Heather’s size. Brian took that moment to exit. Maybe if he kept this attitude, Angel would get it, and put an end to this nonsense. He searched his pockets, and indeed found no cigarettes. Interestingly, he hadn’t felt like smoking so far. He started walking in search of a place to buy them, but doubted he could in a place like this. However, around a corner, he saw something that caught his attention. Much better than a cigarette.


Just in front of him there was a menswear shop, and a wonderful beige Armani in the window. He entered without hesitation and instantly felt better. No raucous tune or hysterical screaming mothers or children, just stillness, soft jazz music and exquisite atmosphere. He went straight to the suit in the shop window.


"Isn’t it wonderful? A work of art. And I'm sure it would be perfect for you, sir." He turned with a half smile and his usual gesture of indifference. The obsequious clerk smiled. "Why don’t you try it?" Why not? Brian thought, and his smile widened. When he left the dressing room, he addressed the store full length mirror. "Perfect, perfect. As if they had made it just for you.” The little man cackled, standing on tiptoe behind Brian. The brunet looked himself in the mirror pleased. This was something else. Now, he recognized himself again. This was who he was. He kept looking, checking from all angles that the suit fit him like a glove.


"Gorgeous." Justin's voice sounded caressing. Their eyes met in the mirror. The blond was smiling. Brian turned to look at him and, stretching his full height, he asked vain:


"So, you like it?"


"Sure. You've always been stunning in Armani.” Justin said, his smile widening. And Brian saw in his eyes the same rapt look of that 17 teenager, who kept stalking him so long ago.


"Well, then, It’s decided. I'll take it."


"Okay, Brian. Stop joking already.” Justin replied, still smiling.


"Who’s joking?" Brian said irritably. Justin looked at the label of the suit.


"God, Brian. With the cost of this suit, we can pay for the house necessities at least two months.” He said softly, and you could tell he was struggling because it didn’t look like a reproach.


"I want this suit. Heather has her boots, doesn’t her?"


"Brian, are you listening to yourself?"


"I'm sick of this. I’m not a selfless martyr like you. If I want a suit, then I buy it."


"I won’t fight in the middle of a store. Keep the fucking suit."


"Haha, Daddy-Justin. You said a bad word. You'll have to pay the penalty.” Heather sang very amused.


"I know, honey. Let's go, or I’ll say many more.” He said giving Brian a dirty look, while pushing Jimmy’s stroller out of the store. "In case you're interested, we'll be in the car." Heather looked at him with laughter, and even stuck her tongue.


"Wow. I'm glad someone is having fun.” Brian said irritably.


"You’re such a baby. I want my suit, I want my suit.” The brat mocked, imitating him. "But I don’t like you. I want my Daddy-Brian back.” She said this, then turn around and ran after Justin and Jimmy.


"I want him back too, Heather, trust me." He muttered as he walked back to the dressing room to change. He was surprised that they were still waiting in the car. Jimmy had fallen asleep, and Justin and Heather remained silent. The blond looked at the package that Brian had, but made no comment. Finally, the uncomfortable trip back was over. Brian entered the house, and stood in the living room, stroking  Rocky’s head absently. Heather went to the bathroom and then to the kitchen. And Justin went to the stairs with Jimmy in his arms.


Brian didn’t know what to do. In his opinion, he was the offended one. But then toured the room with his eyes, and his eyes fell on one of the many photos that were on the shelves. Most of them were of the children, but there was one of the two of them: both with a smart suit and twin smiles. The wedding photo, he thought. And he felt a knot in his stomach. What if he was ruining the life of this family? Not only wasn’t he able to understand what he was supposed to learn, but was ruining everything in the process. Without a specific idea in mind, he went upstairs. Justin was diapering Jimmy, who was now awake and in his usual good mood.


"Justin..." He couldn’t think what to say. But he should say something right? However, Justin interrupted.


"Not now, Brian. I'm too angry, and we would end up arguing without reaching any solution. We'll talk later, when I’m not so pissed at how unbelievably inconsiderate you're being.”


"I'm being inconsiderate? Are you so pissed because I buy a suit?"


"It’s not because of the suit, or maybe yes, I don’t know. Maybe I'm pissed because this morning you went out without walking Rocky. At least you could have told me that you wouldn’t, and I have better organized. You knew I had to finish the drawings. I had to leave the kids having breakfast alone for the poor animal wouldn’t burst."


"You could have Heather take care of that."


"Oh really? That’s funny. So you don’t let her go alone to the neighbor's house because, according to you, the street is very dangerous for a six year old girl, and now you reproach me not to send her to walk the dog.” Justin sounded indignant, and his blue eyes blazed. He finished dressing the baby, and put him on his coat again. "Heather, honey, get your coat and boots. We’re leaving.” He shouted.


"Where the fuck are you going?" Justin sighed, as if all this tired him very much.


"To the Center for Gays and Lesbians, like every evening, Brian. You didn’t want us to stay to watch a movie..."


"And you’re taking the kids?" Justin looked at him as if seeing him for the first time.


"I always take the kids. If you ever come home at a reasonable hour, you'd know. But then again, if you were here, you could stay with them, right?” Brian was about to tell him that he would, that he was home. But he was unable to speak. Justin looked really pissed. He was doing everything wrong. And Angel was still missing. When he heard Justin's car, he went down to the living room again. This was a real family until he had entered the scene. As much as Angel insisted otherwise, he increasingly felt further and further from that other Brian. Hell, if even a 6 year old girl had noticed the difference. However, he was supposed to remove any teaching of this. He had always been a good pupil. Maybe if I thought all over again...


He spent some time looking at the pictures in the living room. All of them spoke of a life together. Those four people were really together. He had always sworn time and time again that he didn’t need or want any those things. But, was he really sincere? The other Brian had overcome his fears. Brian knew it was there the root of all. His biggest fear was not being in control of his surroundings. And when you let feelings and emotions rule you, inevitably you lose that control. He walked through the house, remembering everything that happened in these two days and what Angel had said. Justin. As more turns he gave it in his mind, the key was Justin.


He entered the studio, feeling like an intruder. But he needed to find something, but didn’t know why. There were some blank canvases, also one on an easel covered with a sheet. Brian felt unable to lift it. But he looked at others finished canvases leaning against a wall. He felt surprised. After seeing the pictures that Justin was doing in the morning, and those he well remembered from that other Justin, he didn’t expect abstract paintings. They were full of vibrant colors, and although he was not an expert, it was clear their quality.


He kept pondering how different his life was from that of this other Brian. And he realized that the most important difference wasn’t that he was a successful businessman with a super luxurious life in New York, but Justin, Justin again. The blond had been there all these years in the life of this other Brian, while he had left that blond boy behind with everything else there in Pittsburg, and had forgotten him, or not?


Surprised, he saw on the kitchen clock that it was almost ten. The day before, the children were already asleep long before this time. Why hadn’t Justin returned? Would he be so angry to leave home with the kids? Damn, he really had fucked up. He saw Rocky that looked at him pitifully.


"Okay, Rocky buddy, at least I’ll do something right. Let's take a walk.” As he approached the hall closet, the dog started jumping around, barking happily. Again, it was snowing and cold was intense. However, Rocky seemed to enjoy immensely from the snow falling and congealing on his back. Brian, however, sought to protect from the blizzard, lifting the collar of his coat. He thought he could be wearing the pretty scarf given to him. And this idea, gave him a strange sadness. When he returned home, there was still no sign of Justin and the kids. But he saw the message light was blinking, and set out to hear the message hopeful.


"Brian?" Justin's voice sounded somewhat hesitant. "Well, I want to believe that if you don’t answer the phone, is because you're outside with Rocky. Look... With all the fuss about before, I had forgotten that today was when we were having dinner with my mother. I imagine that you had no desire to come, seeing your behavior these days... Don’t worry. I’ll make an excuse for you... See you later."


More than angry, Justin had sounded sad. Great, definitely it was enough one like him to spoil everything good around. Thank you very much dear parents, he muttered sarcastically. He didn’t want anything for dinner. And after making sure that Rocky had clean water in his bowl, he decided to go to bed. God. Why wasn’t this nightmare over already?


He didn’t know how much time had passed when he heard Justin's car entering the garage. And almost in the blink of an eye, also heard the voice of the blond at the foot of the bed.


"Come on, Brian, I know you're not asleep." Now the voice was again sweet and caressing. He opened his eyes slowly and, indeed, Justin smiled. How could it be?


"The kids?" Brian asked fearfully.


"With my mother." Justin responded climbing into bed with natural gesture, and began to unbutton Brian’s shirt. "I think you and I need to be alone. Also, my mother always complains that she can’t enjoy her grandchildren as much as she would like. And since she has a few days off and Heather is still on holiday, why not let mom enjoy playing granny? They will spend the weekend."


"You don’t look angry."


"Sorry about before, Brian. I overreacted. But you know me, sometimes I focus on the small details and lose perspective.” Brian couldn’t believe it. Justin was the one apologizing. "I didn’t understand your behavior. But then you scared me, Brian. These days, you don’t look the same... It’s as if time had gone back and you were the Brian from before, hiding in your castle. I thought we were past all that, honey. But finally, I understood. And my mother helped me. It's funny, but sometimes she understands you better than me.” Justin said cuddly and started kissing Brian’s neck and chest. As delicious as that was, Brian was puzzled.


"What are you talking about?"


"Well, how I have not been able to understand what was happening to you. Hope you forgive me for being so picky. But now I understand. You have endured much stress these months. And I guess I've been too into my stuff, and I didn’t realize how lonely you felt. And this afternoon... I know very well how important it’s for you to feel beautiful. Your image has always given you security. So if you need a nice new suit to feel good..."


"But you're right. It is very expensive..."


"But it makes you happy. And you deserve it. We'll manage. We always do."


"That's very important to you, right? Make others happy: me, the kids, your mother..."


"Yes, and since I've been such a good boy. Now I want my prize.” Justin said smiling, and set out to take Brian’s shorts. The brunet was completely floored. After having behaved like a real asshole, Justin was like this... Fuck! Wait! That was it! Justin actually loved him. Suddenly, he felt as if something inside him, like a muscle that had been painfully stiff, relax. He took Justin's face in his hands, and made him look at him. He saw only love in those blue eyes.


"Justin..." He said barely breathing. However, at that moment, he felt as if everything around him was blurred, then darkness, as if falling suddenly. He opened his eyes very alarmed. Darkness all around. But a soft glow came through the large window. The city of New York shone down there. He was back in his own bed. "Nooo! Not now!" He shouted.

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