Midnight Whispers
QAF Brian and Justin Fanfiction

Although he knew what he would see, Brian looked at his side in bed. Empty. Of course, no one was there, let alone Justin. Confused, he scanned the room with his eyes. Yes, he was at home, like he had longed for the last few days. But if that was what he wanted, why was he feeling this horrible sadness inside? Was it loneliness? Perhaps, after all, he had been right all along, and everything had only been a dream. He didn’t however have the opportunity to reflect on it, because at the foot of his bed, suddenly, Angel had appeared.


"Fuck! I know I insisted for you to bring my life back. But had to be right now? I was about to fuck Justin, dammit!”


"Precisely." The other said very pleased with himself.


"What the hell do you mean?"


"Frankly, Brian, I must say you surprised me. Especially after what it cost you to understand all this. But wow, you've been this close to declare your love for Justin!”


"So it was not a dream..."


"No. It wasn’t”


"Anyway, you could have let me finish. Was very inconsiderate of you.” Brian muttered.


"No, Brian. I could not. Technically, you were usurping another's life. You have passed the test, and with honors, I add. Although I was sure you could do it, didn’t expect you going so far. However, I couldn’t let you declare your love because that is not your place... not your Justin either.”


"You mean that while I took his place, that other Brian was taking mine?"


"No. Things are not exactly like that. But don’t ask me any more questions about it, because...”


"You are not authorized to give me that information. Right.”


"I see you start to get it.” Angel said mockingly.


"Can you at least tell me if I've been in another dimension, parallel world... or whatever the fuck?"


"Let's say it was not a dream, nor real life. You can consider it as one of many possible realities. But you shouldn’t worry, because now you're back in your real life... The one that really counts.”


"Shit... I think... I think I liked that other life." Brian said barely above a whisper full of sadness.


"I've already noticed. But like I said, nothing is completely immovable, Brian, and your fate is actually in your own hands.”


"Is that what you wanted me to learn? That my life is for shit?” Now, he was irritated.


"No, Brian. Don’t spoil it now. I know you understand. Your life is not for shit. But it’s not the life you need, let alone deserve. I know you very well. You're a fighter, a survivor. You've always worked so hard, putting so much effort... But you focus all your efforts on the wrong goals. However, someone who has fought so long and hard, overcoming your horrible childhood and all the difficulties that life put in your way, deserves to be happy. Therefore, we decided to grant you this second chance. Please don’t waste it.”


"Bullshit. You make me live that life that’s not for me, and now I’m back to my empty world. Well, you had no right. I was perfectly happy...”


"Were you? Be completely honest, Brian. You can’t lie to me. Listen to your heart like you had the courage to do a few minutes ago with Justin, and tell me if you are happy.” Angel said very seriously, all trace of humor or mockery, disappeared from his expression. This was the turning point. Brian opened his mouth, closed it again incapable of lying. Then he lowered his head completely defeated. That was breaking Angel’s heart, metaphorically speaking, of course. But he had to resist, Brian was about to take the big step.


"I'm fucked." The brunet lamented. Angel said nothing. He didn’t want to push him. Just waited... and got his reward. "I wish that was my life, Angel..." Brian began distressed. "But I fucked everything up, and I accept my defeat."


"No! You have started well, but you are letting your ego to guide you again. Forget it, Brian. Don’t listen to it. Say aloud what you really want, what you need.” Brian looked up and Angel gestured with his arms pushing forward, as he watched him expectantly.


"I want..." Brian began hesitantly. Angel nodded, encouraging him. "I want that life." He said now more firmly. Angel's smile gave him wings, and finally proclaimed loud and clear. "Fuck! I want Justin in my life!" He couldn’t believe it. It was as if his body was full of new energy, like a rush without taking anything.


"Well, at last. Congratulations. You've gotten rid of that tyrant of your ego. I hope you don’t ever let it dominate you again. You have just taken a giant step saying what you said. However, it’s not enough telling me. If you want Justin Go get him!"


"That easy? You have no idea. I broke his heart. I despised his feelings and let him behind with everything else. And now you want me to believe that he is right there, just around the corner, waiting. No, Angel, any chance we could have had, I ruined it smashing his tender teenager heart. I sincerely hope that he took my advice and forgot about me completely. At this point, he would have a life with someone who deserves him."


"I can’t speak on Justin’s behalf..."


"You don’t need to tell me, you are not allowed to give me that information, right?"


"Well. No. This time you are wrong. What I was going to say is that I can’t speak for Justin because I take care of you, not him."


"Whatever. Anyway, that doesn’t change anything. If you know me as well as you say, you should know that I always avoided getting emotionally attached to anyone because, well, you already know. Love and all that shit only serve to cause suffering, and I don’t want to suffer, but even less to hurt another person. And look what happened when I let Justin get too close. I never wanted anyone crying because of me, and he, I made him cry... more than once. Chances are that he hates me."


"You can’t know unless you check Are you going to stand idly after everything you've learned?"


"Angel..." Brian covered his face with his hands. Interestingly, the feeling of unreality of the previous two days had returned. "I don’t know what I'm supposed to do. OK?"


"Just listen to your heart. But I'm going to help a little more. Think about it and be completely honest again. You think your life would have been better with Justin in it?” Brian said nothing. The emotions invading him were too intense and deep. However, it wasn’t necessary. Angel already had his answer. "That's what I thought. So, you know what you must do if you want Justin. And this time, you’re alone, because my work is over. And I advise you to hurry.” Before Brian could even blink, Angel had vanished. But suddenly his arm and face, with half body, resurfaced from thin air. However Brian wasn’t surprised. "Oh, I forgot! This is yours.” He smiled, and put at the foot of the bed the tie pin, gold watch, and the 500 dollars, finally disappearing.


Just then, Brian jumped in bed when his alarm went off suddenly. After he stop it, mechanically looked at the screen of his cell phone, that he always had close, and had a new shock seeing the date: December 25. Then nothing had happened. It was Christmas morning again, when he should attend his transcendental videoconference with the Russians. In his mind, echoed Angel’s words. 'Nothing is completely immovable'. And he understood their meaning. He could still change his fate. But Angel also told him better to hurry. Did that mean maybe, Justin was about to be definitely out of reach? Maybe he was getting married... Yes, Brian thought, Justin was the marrying kind, no doubt. He didn’t want to think about that possibility. However, before he could go for Justin, wherever he might be, had something important to do. Today was going to be a busy day.


He jumped out of bed and proceeded to his daily routine. However, nothing was the same anymore. His luxurious bathroom seemed impersonal and empty, his overflowing wardrobe of stylish and very expensive clothes, incomplete without the presence of the garments of another person... but refused to be folded. He needed all his energy to this crucial day. Once dressed, in a last sudden impulse, he put his watch and took those 500 dollars, stuffing them in a pocket without thinking about why he was doing it.


No longer surprised that neither driving his new Ferrari will lift his spirits. Without quite knowing how it happened, he found himself thinking that car wouldn’t be at all suitable for a family. He reached his office trying his usual attitude, but he felt different, very different. Just as expected, the videoconference was a success, and everyone was very pleased and pending only on Brian trip to Moscow to round the operation. At 11, it was over and Brian once again, summoned his people in the conference room.


"Well, this meeting is just to give congratulations for the success of the operation, and thank you for your effort." As imagined, these words took everyone by surprise. "Therefore, as at present, there is nothing urgent, I think we can terminate the workday." Murmurs of surprise and disbelief, but Brian had yet another surprise. "Newman, I think you're right, this is a day to spend with family. I hope you still may be able to enjoy it. See you tomorrow.” And collecting the documents before him, he headed for his office.


"Thank you, Mr. Kinney. Merry Christmas.” Newman said sincerely and others echoed, while Brian slipped into his office. Once there, he finally allowed himself to think. His business and livelihood of many people, was more secure than ever. Now it was the turn of his own life How to proceed? First thing, of course, was to find Justin. He remembered the night before. Or was it three nights ago? No matter. Now he knew that everything made sense, and he should pay attention to the signs, such as a doorman leafing through an art magazine.


When he left his office, there was no one in the building, that didn’t surprise him. All had families, loved ones with whom to meet. Why couldn’t he too? He entered the art department. And as expected, found a copy of the latest issue of Art Forum. With some trembling fingers, looked the article that interested him. However, he only found rave reviews to the pieces presented by Justin Taylor, and any suggestion that perhaps the young artist had already given everything, wondering if he would be able to maintain the level. Strangely, the latter bothered him very much. But he found no useful information, such as where to find Justin. At the end of the article, it was mentioned only one agent, some Amanda Carter as "discoverer" of the young artist among many others.


It wasn’t difficult to find Miss Carter’s agency, of course, it was in the database of the art department, and calling there. But of course no one answered the phone. Fucking Christmas, he thought. Was again as before. Of course he could wait until tomorrow. But Angel had said he better hurry up, and an increasingly strong feeling told him to do it or he would lose Justin forever. He was so engrossed in his thoughts, that jumped hearing someone enter. It was a young woman, also startled to see him. In those moments, Brian cursed himself for his inability to keep the names that didn’t affect him. Although he remembered that she was one of his brightest employees, was not able to remember her name.


"Oh, Mr. Kinney, you scared me! I thought everybody would already  be gone.” The girl said touching her chest and blushing slightly. Then, apologetically, she added shyly. "I forgot my umbrella, and it’s snowing again." Brian followed her gaze and indeed saw the umbrella hung on the back of a chair. When the girl was going to back out, she saw what he was reading. "Were you at the show?" She asked with an innocent smile.


"I'm afraid not..."




"Sure, Marsha. You made the sketches for the Pink perfumes campaign. Very good job."


"Thank you, Mr. Kinney... It's exciting to work in this company..." Brian couldn’t help but smile seeing how she blushed to the roots of her curly black hair.


"I take it you were in the exhibition. Mr. Taylor’s I mean."


"Ah, yes. It was great, and a great success. I think almost all the paintings were sold. I'm happy for Justin. He worked so hard..."


"You know him?" Angel, little troublemaker, Brian thought. You were supposed to help me no more. Marsha glanced at him doubtfully.


"Well ... not that we're close or anything. Justin shared an apartment with my cousin Pat, when he came to New York, and we've met sometimes... He’s a very nice guy."


"You know where I can find him?" Brian asked point blank. She jumped a little.


"Ummm, I don’t know, Mr. Kinney. If you want to talk about some work, you can contact his agent...” Oh, oh. He had to change strategy, Marsha looked back down, as if she was invading Justin’s privacy talking too much about him. A loyal friend, Brian thought, must have that quality in mind in the future.


"Look, Marsha..." Brian rolled his best seductive smile that never failed him. "It's not about work. It's personal. I... I also know Justin. It was long ago, in Pittsburgh. But we lost touch, and now I... I need to talk to him about something important. It’s a matter of life or death, Marsha. And I assure you that you'll be doing a great service to both if you tell me where I can find him.” Before he finished speaking, Brian knew he had her.


"O... Okay. I’ll write down his address for you.” Marsha said. And proceeded to write down the address on a sheet of paper. Brian took it, and grinning he said.


"Thank you, Marsha. I won’t forget this favor.” And he went out, leaving the girl completely confused. No time to lose. He looked at the address. It was not far, but being Christmas, and with the snow, he didn’t know how long will take.


When he finally reached the apartment building, didn’t hesitate to park in prohibited area and enter storming in the lobby. The elevator was busy, going up, and the note said Justin lived on the fourth floor. But Brian couldn’t wait. He felt an acute sense of urgency. He climbed the stairs as fast as he could, cursing not quitting cigarettes, and arrived almost breathless. The elevator was on that floor. There were boxes holding the door. A moving, Brian thought. And his mood suddenly collapsed to the floor seeing the apartment the note said was the one emptying. The door was open. Brian saw a woman, incredibly thin, makeup and jeweled.


"Justin Taylor?" He was still breathing hard because of the climbing.


"I'm afraid not, handsome. I'm Amanda.” She said playfully, with a perfect smile. And extended a delicate hand with porcelain nails. Seeing his expression, she added, more serious. "Just kidding, man. Justin, honey. You have a visitor.” She shouted into the apartment. Then suddenly approached a couple of operators. "More careful with that, God. They are works of art that you are transporting, brutes.” In fact, they were carrying what looked like a packed box of good size, out of what had all the appearance of a small studio. But he turned hearing motion to his left. A door in front of him, Justin had just stopped at the edge of a couple of steps. Brian saw hundreds of emotions cross his face in a second, and then displayed a slight smile. It wasn’t the dazzling smile that had earned him the nickname Sunshine, but still his heart skip a beat.


"Brian!" Justin said with little more than a whisper. Oh, God, that soft voice, so sensual. Now for real, no dreams or visions. He looked gorgeous. He had long hair as in the dream? Vision? And was wearing a navy blue turtleneck sweater, skinny jeans with the same color, that highlighted all his qualities, and made his eyes impossibly blue. "I never would have thought that you of all people came to say goodbye to me."


"Saying goodbye?" Brian asked alarmed. And he didn’t care to be heard


"In a few hours I’m flying to Paris..."


"On vacation?" He asked, knowing that no. He had seen the move.


"Work. A French millionaire and art lover, aristocrat want to commission me to direct his collection. It’s an incredible opportunity, Brian. Not only for the job, but the opportunity to meet European art and artists. It also let me time to develop myself as an artist.” His eyes shone with excitement as he spoke.


"And is it for a long time?"


"Who knows?" Justin said, shrugging. "Maybe, I definitely settle in Paris, or at least for a good time."


"With your boyfriend."




"That aristocrat rich man."


"Brian" Justin gave a real laugh that sounded like music to Brian’s ears. He had forgotten how happy that laugh was. "He's not even gay. Not to mention is more than 80, in a wheelchair, and quite unfriendly.” There was the Sunshine smile. Brian bit his lip to keep his composure. He had been ready for anything. But he was not sure he could handle rejection. However, it cost him a  hell of an effort not to jump to devour those lips.


"So, your boyfriend will accompany you."


"Drop it. Don’t go there, Brian." He said in that tone of 'you can’t fool me, I’m onto you', that Brian had almost forgotten. "I have no boyfriend. Actually, this trip will also be good for me to collect my emotions. I haven’t had much luck in the sentimental level. I guess you left the bar very high.” God, Brian couldn’t help but wonder that Justin remained so honest and brave. He had to keep up. He couldn’t give up now.


"I thought that by now, you would have forgotten me."


"You know what they say about first love, Brian. How could I forget you? You taught me to be a man... You made me a man.” Brian stood for a moment mesmerized by those eyes so full of sincerity.


"Don’t go to Paris." He hardly was aware of what he said. "I can be your patron. I am very rich."


"I know. I've seen that tower where your company is. Very impressive. I'm happy for you. But it’s determined, Brian. If you want us to retake the contact, it’s okay with me. When I get settled down, I'll call you if you want. We could chat like old good friends…”


"I don’t want to be your friend, dammit!" Brian broke. He immediately regretted it seeing Justin’s gesture of alarm. But it was done "Why the hell are you going to fucking Paris, to work for a stuffy aristocrat who you don’t even like? I just said that I will sponsor you. We will go to Europe, if you want..."


"Brian Are you all right?" Justin now looked at him with genuine concern, and oh, God, put his hand on his arm. He wasn’t prepared for the contact.


"I'm fine. What I mean is... Fuck. Can’t you see it? I remember you scored great grades in high school. You have acknowledged that you haven’t been happy with anyone. You and I, we belong together."


"You and I, really?" Damn, now he seemed angry. "I don’t know what happens to you. If it's a midlife crisis or what. But the Brian I used to know didn’t believe in 'you and I'. It's something that you made very clear, thanks. But I understand. I was a kid. I had no idea of life. And, I heard that Brian I met, who I fell in love with like the child that I was, remains still the same. I liked seeing you again, but I have to get ready. My plane leaves this evening.” Despite the harsh words, he didn’t sound angry rather tired, as if it was not the first time they had this conversation. Perhaps it wasn’t. He began to separate from Brian, heading back toward the steps. Everything was quiet. And Brian realized that neither Amanda nor the workers were there.


"But that's how it is, Justin. I've seen it. You and I... married, living in a small house in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. We have two children: a daughter, who is my biological daughter. She’s only 6, but is smart and brave, and above all, want to protect her parents.” Justin had begun to turn around, in his face, an expression of supreme sadness. Well, if he had to use the trick of pity, he would be the most pathetic guy in the world. If the other Brian had the courage to open his heart to get Justin, he wouldn’t be less. "We also have a baby, it's your spitting image, and laughs all the time. You make beautiful illustrations for children's books. And I work hard to buoy my agency. But hard work doesn’t matter because we are a team. We even have a dog... "Justin was back in front of him.


"Brian, please. Don’t do this to me. Understand that I can’t wreck my life, which cost me a lot to get, because you've had some kind of vision or whatever. You are confused, but it’ll pass as soon as you step into a club and have all the guys drooling at your feet, as always.” Again, Justin started to walk away. He even climbed one of the steps.


"I know what it sounds like. But I haven’t lost my mind... I love you Justin. And I don’t just found out. I already knew back then. But had not the courage to accept it, and I fled.” Brian shouted. But he didn’t care who could hear him. Fortunately, Justin turned back to face him. His eyes were bright with unshed tears.


"What did you just say?" He asked with a trembling voice.


"I said I love you, Justin. What do you want me to do to prove it? Tell me whatever. And I will. We'll get married, if you need that to believe me You want me on my knees…?” Brian began to kneel.


"No, please. Stop it. Get Up. Don’t humiliate.  I would never want you to humiliate.” Justin said, taking his hands, and making him stand up again.


"Will you marry me, then?"


"God, you're serious."


"I haven’t been more serious in my life, Justin. And I give you my word that everything I said is true. I'll do anything to prove I love you, and to make you happy."


"Fuck, Brian... You're... incredible. I don’t know what to say. I’m speechless."


"I don’t remember you had that problem before." Brian said tongue in cheek.


"Don’t mock me, you asshole. Do you know how many times I dreamed to hear you say those words? And you still wonder that I don’t know what to say?"


"It's simple, Sunshine. Just say yes.” They stared intently for a few seconds. Brian was very aware that Justin was peering into the depths of his soul. He allowed the blond to study him. Finally, the most radiant smile lit up the face of the younger man, and throwing his arms around Brian’s neck, said.


"Yes, yes, yes. I'll marry you. But I have one condition."


"Whatever you want. I told you."


"I want us to have what you saw in your vision." Brian lifted him into his arms like that time in Babylon. And as he turned his precious cargo, he said, full of happiness.


"Of course, children, the house, whatever."


"Don’t forget the dog. I always wanted to have one."


"And the fucking dog. Whatever it takes.” Justin then literally threw at him for a kiss. And both were carried away, diving into the passion that had lain dormant for so many years, and now resurfaced with renewed vigor. In it they were, when someone cleared his throat. Reluctantly, Brian deposited his blond on the ground. But kept one arm around his waist, just in case. He didn’t want to take any chances.


"Mr. Justin Taylor?" A young man in chauffeur's uniform, asked very polite.


"It's me." Justin replied, smiling and blushing, still breathing hard.


"The car commissioned by Monsieur Dupont to take you to the airport is down, sir."


"Tell your boss that Mr. Taylor has received a much better offer." Brian said in his best dismissive tone. The young man looked at him, but he turned his eyes to Justin, confused. The blond smiled and shrugged.


"It seems that, after all, I'm not going to Paris. Now I will call Monsieur Dupont to explain it."


"Ah, well, sir." The young man said, and started toward the elevator. Brian suddenly called him.


"Wait buddy. Take this, for the inconvenience.” Mocking he said, handing the bills in his pocket. The young man gaped.


"Wow, 500 dollars! Thank you very much, sir. and Merry Christmas.” Justin looked at Brian with an amused expression.


"Did you just give 500 dollars to tip the limo driver, Brian? Will have to see if after all, you lost your mind.” The blonde joked.


"Doesn’t matter. Moreover, I considered this money already lost. And speaking of more important things...” He said, wrapping an arm around Justin’s shoulders, as they entered the apartment. "Have they emptied the whole apartment? Have they taken the bed?"


"I'm afraid so, Brian. We'll have to go elsewhere. I'll get my coat."


"We'll go to my attic. Wait till you see the shower."


"Is it better than the one in your loft in Pittsburg?"


"Infinitely." As they entered the apartment, next to the elevator, invisible to everyone except perhaps to Brian, a young man who looked like a criminal and a venerable old man with very white hair, were giving a high five in a gesture of triumph.



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