Simple Lines

Justin waits to see how Brian reacts to having him home before he makes any assumptions. He’s learned in four years not to ever assume anything where Brian’s concerned.

Brian downplays the whole moving-in thing. A week after Justin gets back and his third shift at the diner, he finds a key under Brian’s five-dollar tip.

“I already have a key,” he says on the phone at his break.

“Symbolism is lost on you,” Brian sighs, and hangs up.

Justin starts moving his stuff that night.

Brian goes to bed while Justin’s sorting his socks, so Justin spends fifteen minutes in the bathroom and comes to bed with his skin still damp and smelling of Brian’s expensive shower gel. He buries his cold nose in Brian’s neck. “I don’t like that new shower wash stuff,” he whispers, and nudges his erection against Brian’s back.

“Then buy your own,” Brian says, and turns over to reveal his own impressive hard-on.

“In LA I used this really nice oatmeal wheatberry one that smelled so good,” he says, and draws a breath when Brian’s hand encircles his cock. “But I can’t find it here.”

“Look online,” Brian suggests, and rubs his dick on Justin’s thigh.

“I did,” Justin sighs, “but it’s this little company that doesn’t - ”

“Shut up,” Brian finally growls, and Justin does, except for letting out a groan when he comes.

* * *

He sort of thought that leaving the movie behind would mean his life would be less busy. Justin spent most of his time in California either at work or work-related events, with the occasional night off to go dancing or drinking or both. He usually ended up taking the night for himself, however, and falling asleep in front of the tv.

He can’t figure out how being back in Pittsburgh is just like being in LA, but he still feels the same sense of rushing everywhere and not having time to even jerk off, much less lie down for a proper fuck. Justin guesses that most of it is due to the fact that somehow Brett Keller keeps requiring things of him even though the movie wrapped a month ago.

“I’m sending a guy to meet with you,” he says to Justin on the phone, very late Saturday night.

Justin eyes Brian’s back and watches as Brian roots through the refrigerator for water. “What for,” he asks, scrubbing a hand over his face and forgetting it was glitter night at Babylon. He gets tiny grains of it in his eyes and they start to tear.

“There need to be changes in some of the storyboards. We’re reshooting parts near the end and I need you to consult with John. Either that, or I can fly you out here.” He sounds cheerful about it, and Justin shudders involuntarily.

“No,” he says, louder than he intended, and Brian raises an eyebrow at him as he passes. “No,” he repeats, calmer, and blinks rapidly against the sting of the glitter. “It’s fine. When? Next week?”

“Tomorrow,” Brett laughs. “You know that whole ‘time is money’ thing. He’s getting on a six a.m. flight and will be there by three your time. Shouldn’t take you more than a few hours to pound it all out.”

“Can’t I conference call?” Justin asks, not very hopefully, and pictures the Sunday dinner at Deb’s that he’s going to miss for the third week in a row.

Brett uses the same patient voice that Justin heard for six and half months. “Justin,” he explains, “if you need to sketch anything out, a conference call isn’t going to do it. John’ll call you when he gets in.” He hangs up in the middle of Justin’s goodbye and Justin is reminded again why he doesn’t like Brett Keller.

He flips his phone closed – the new one that Brett bought him in California – and stands in the kitchen with his head down and his eyes stinging. He can feel Brian’s curious stare. “What,” Justin says tiredly.

“Why’re your eyes all red,” Brian wants to know, and Justin wishes Babylon would ban fucking glitter night.

“The goddamned glitter,” he says, and goes to look in the bathroom mirror.

Brian comes up behind him while he’s trying to remove miniscule pieces from his left eye. “Here,” he says, and takes a bottle of Visine out of the medicine cabinet. “Quit sticking your fingers in there. You want a face full of pinkeye?”

He tilts Justin’s head back and holds his eye open with two fingers while squeezing out three drops of the saline solution. Justin tries not to blink, and when the fluid runs down his temple into his hair, he feels the grittiness leave his eye. “It’s out,” he says, and Brian lets go.

“Use it in the other eye and then wash your face,” Brian instructs. His look softens momentarily. “Although you’re sort of hot with glitter everywhere.”

“I’m sort of hot anyway,” Justin tells him, and Brian grins back.

“Yeah,” he says, and swats Justin’s ass. “You sort of are.”

“I can’t go to Deb’s tomorrow,” he blurts out, and then waits for a reaction. He doesn’t get much of one, which is really what he anticipated anyway.

“I’m not telling her,” Brian shrugs. “You stuck me with that last week.”

“I’ll call her in the morning,” Justin says wearily. “Bring me leftovers.”

“I always do.”

* * *

Justin doesn’t detect annoyance from Brian until at least a month later.

He doesn’t mean to fall asleep while Brian’s giving him head; it just sort of happens. He starts out really horny and turned on, but the soft rhythm of Brian’s tongue lulls him into a dreamy state of relaxation. Justin doesn’t even realize he’s been dozing until Brian gives him a hard shake.

“Hey,” Brian demands. “The fuck is wrong with you?”

Justin blinks. “Huh?”

“I can find four hundred guys that would go without sleep for days for a promise of a blowjob from me.”

“God, I’m sorry,” Justin says, but can’t hide a huge yawn.

Brian crawls up to lie next to him and Justin thinks he’s pissed off, but Brian just studies him quietly. “I’m no fucking nursemaid,” Brian says, and Justin doesn’t know what he means until Brian continues. “You don’t sleep, you barely eat, and when you do stop to shove something in your mouth, it’s either greasy diner food or packed with sugar.”

“I eat,” Justin protests, but Brian rolls his eyes.

“Way to miss the point,” he says casually. “You’re going to get sick. And I am not taking care of you when you do.”

“Noted,” Justin sighs. “Don’t worry.”

“Oh, I’m not worried.” Brian narrows his gaze. “Just warning you.”

* * *

Justin does get sick, as predicted, and he spends two days in bed while Brian sighs in disgust. He gets up on the third day and grimaces at his pallid complexion in the mirror.

“Go back to bed,” Brian advises over the rim of his coffee cup.

Justin takes it as a good sign that he thinks Brian looks spectacular in his new charcoal-colored suit that had to have cost at least a thousand dollars. “I can’t,” he croaks, and winces at the raspy sound of his own voice. “The movie premieres in two weeks. Brett asked for new promotional designs for the posters.”

“Now?” Brian asks, and Justin hears the hint of irritation. “All that shit’s usually taken care of months in advance.”

“He changes his mind a lot,” Justin says. “He doesn’t know if he’ll use them, he just wants to have them.” The orange juice he sips feels good on his dry throat and he downs the whole glass.

“He changes his mind a lot,” Brian repeats. “Well. Does he at least pay you for his indecisiveness?”

“I’m not a complete moron, Brian,” Justin snaps. “You think I fucking do all this crap for free?”

“I don’t know,” Brian says pleasantly. “Maybe if we had a discussion about anything for more than ten seconds, I’d be somewhat informed.”

Justin glares at the back of Brian’s head. “What’s that supposed to mean.”

Brian pushes back his chair and gets up to place his cup in the sink. Justin watches him put on his suit jacket and grudgingly admires the way it falls flawlessly across his shoulders. “It means,” Brian says with an undefinable expression, “that I’ll see you tonight. Call me before seven if you want me to pick up dinner.”

“Fine,” Justin sighs, then snaps his fingers. “No. Wait. I won’t be home for dinner. I have that interview with Planet Q.”

“Of course you do,” Brian smiles, and leaves without kissing Justin goodbye.

The image of Brian in his suit lingers long enough for Justin to search out his sketchbook and pencils. He spends ten minutes looking for them because he hasn’t used them in weeks, but the urge to draw something other than Rage is strong enough for him to continue hunting.

They turn up under the bed. Justin digs them out and sits on the couch with the natural light from the window and makes a rough outline, but his hand starts to tingle and then burn when he tries the shading. He tries to work through it but gets frustrated at his own efforts and ends up scribbling out Brian’s face.

He remembers a panel he’s supposed to get to Michael by four, so the drawing gets abandoned.

* * *

When Michael mentions Babylon at the diner three days later, Justin catches Brian’s sidelong glance and is afraid to tell them that all he wants to do is eat a quiet dinner and go to bed early. “Cool,” he says instead, and tries to look enthused. Brian eyes him but keeps his mouth shut.

They dance till midnight and Justin finds his second wind, especially when Brian offers him a tab of E and the lights turn swirly and pink. He goes eagerly when Brian tugs him toward the back.

Shoved against the wall, strong hands at his waist, Justin finds himself begging Brian to hurry up; begging him loud enough to make the twink giving head next to them stop mid-suck and watch Justin curiously instead.

“Shh,” Brian says into his hair, soothing him with a steady hand wrapped around Justin’s cock, sliding in tightly and pushing him even more firmly against the wall. Justin finds he can’t even thrust backward, their bodies are too pressed together, and he arches his neck and lays his head against Brian’s shoulder.

The haze in the back room turns blue behind Justin’s eyes. He starts to giggle when he feels his orgasm approach because it just feels so normal, finally. One damn night where he doesn’t have to work or take phone calls or sketch something to someone else’s specifications, and when Brian reaches around to slide his pinky through Justin’s nipple ring, Justin shudders and jerks and comes all over Brian’s other hand.

* * *

He has a nightmare that night.

At first, he thinks Brian just wants to fuck. He pushes at him with a mumbled, “Don’t you ever sleep?”

Justin receives a jarring shake in return. “Wake up.”

He blinks sleepily at Brian, who is straddling him in the dark. “I’m up.”

“Good,” Brian says, climbing off. “Now go back to sleep.”

“Okay,” Justin yawns, and doesn’t remember in the morning.

Four nights later, he wakes to a heavy arm across his chest and his own hair curiously damp with sweat. Justin turns his head on the pillow. Brian’s eyes are narrowed and he is assessing Justin carefully. “What?” Justin asks, and wonders why is voice is hoarse.

“What were you dreaming about?” Brian asks unexpectedly, and Justin blinks.

“Uh. Nothing? I wasn’t, I don’t think.” He really can’t remember, although he tries to make his sleep-addled brain recall it. The most he can get is an obscure memory of some sort of concern for Brian, but sleep is returning fast and Brian starts to look fuzzy. He falls asleep with his hand resting protectively on Brian’s arm.

He sleeps through two pushes of the snooze button and only manages to rouse himself when Brian shakes water from his wet hair onto Justin’s bare back.

* * *

Brian doesn’t have to wake Justin up at night for two weeks. When it happens again, Justin has a vague feeling of unease that he can’t attribute to anything, but it’s forgotten when Brian yanks him to a sitting position and glares.

“What in fuck is wrong with you?”

Justin has no idea what he means but figures he should say something. “I, um … I’m not sure.”

“God! How do you not remember what you’re dreaming about?” Brian is really pissed now and Justin still doesn’t know why.

“I don’t know,” Justin says lamely, and wishes Brian would let him go back to sleep.

“Can’t you say anything worthwhile?”

“How about I’m really fucking tired and you’re not making any sense?”

Brian looks at him for a while and Justin looks right back, too exhausted to be cowed by the Brian Kinney Stare of Death. Brian finally sighs and says, “You’ve been waking me up with all your thrashing around and shit.”

“And you don’t want any thrashing around unless you’re causing it?”

“Don’t be cute.”

“That’s not an option.”

Brian snorts despite himself, and Justin feels better. He lies back down, but Brian says, “Oh, no, you don’t.”

“What? I can’t go back to sleep?”

“Not till you blow me. Wake me up, pay the price.”

Justin sucks him off.

* * *

He finally remembers something about the dream on a night he’s alone. Brian is out catting around and the loft is silent and still, Justin’s preliminary Rage II: Vengeance Again sketches strewn in orderly chaos around the table.

It’s just for a second, he thinks, resting his cheek against the cool wood and watching a drop of condensation make its way down the glass of water next to him. Just one second, ‘cause my eyes fucking burn, and then I can finish this goddamn thing and get it off to Michael. And have a cigarette.

Except a second turns into an hour, and he’s pulled out of sleep by the loft door slamming closed, the horrifying picture still clear as day before him. He jerks his head off the table and his hand shoots out to clutch the edge, upsetting his water glass and sending liquid spilling over his night’s work.

“Whoa,” Brian says, his voice made rough with liquor and smoke, “hey. It’s just me.”

Justin blinks at him, his eyes focusing on Brian’s clothes. “Your shirt,” he manages, and Brian looks down.

“Yeah,” he says with disgust. “Stupid drunk asshole spilled booze on me. I figured the night was a wash after that anyway.” Brian plucks his damp shirt away from his skin and curls his lip.

Justin stares at the dark brown stain on the light brown fabric. Not blood, he tells himself. Not blood. He manages to drag his eyes back to Brian’s face and finds Brian studying him.

“Were you sleeping?”

“I think,” Justin answers. He can’t make himself get up to clean the water. He watches it slide to the edge of the table and start dripping onto the floor. Blood would be thicker, he thinks to himself. It wouldn’t drip as fast. He continues to stare, mesmerized, until Brian walks over and puts a hand on his shoulder.

“Justin,” he says, and shakes him a little.

The sound of his name is what breaks his concentration. Brian rarely uses his name when speaking to him; Justin has gotten used to hearing Brian’s quiet “hey” as a form of address or sometimes “Sunshine” when he’s feeling affectionate. But Brian saves Justin’s given name for serious situations, so Justin wonders vaguely why he’s using it now. He looks up in question.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” Brian looks annoyed as usual, and suddenly Justin gets pissed off that he keeps hearing the same question.

“I don’t know!” he shouts, shooting to his feet and tipping his chair over backwards. “Jesus, stop fucking asking me that! I don’t know, okay? I don’t – it’s just – God! I have no idea what’s wrong with me!”

“Figure it out,” Brian says calmly while Justin paces the floor, ignoring his ruined sketches. “Because I’m losing sleep trying to keep watch over you.”

“I don’t need any favors,” Justin mutters, shoving his hands into his back pockets and racking his brain for something, anything to explain his behavior, anything that will make Brian leave him alone. He passes the table with his soggy drawings and his eyes light on a runny picture of Rage, the facial features blurred and drippy. At once, the drawing morphs into something different; something violent and marked with gore. “Oh,” he says softly, and puts a hand on the table to steady himself. “Oh, yeah.”

Brian crosses the floor to study the picture. “This?”

“No,” Justin shakes his head, “no. Not this. But almost this. My dream, the dream – it wasn’t Rage, Brian, it was you, I drew this awful picture of you, and there was blood and stuff. There was blood and all these huge gaping wounds and I signed my name to it, I was so proud of this picture I drew, and it was disgusting and violent and oh my God, why would I draw that, why would I dream that?” He turns back to the table in horror, but the pictures have turned back into a waterlogged superhero with no sign of brutality.

“Come on,” Brian says, and tugs him toward the bedroom.

Justin resists. “No, wait. Give me a minute to think.”

“Think in there.” Brian motions toward the bedroom.

“Brian, God! Back off for a second!” Justin wants to cry with frustration, he feels like the answer is within reach and yet not.

“Christ, Justin! For once in your fucking adolescent life, let me do one fucking thing for you without the argument!” Brian shouts it at him and Justin is startled.

“Brian,” he says slowly, “you can’t just … fix me all the time. Why do I have to be fixed? Why can’t I just … be?”

“Fine,” Brian barks. “Just ‘be’ whatever the hell you want.” He stalks to the kitchen and jerks open the refrigerator.

Justin suddenly wants to lie down very badly, so he leaves Brian muttering in the kitchen and retreats to the bedroom. He flops in the middle of the bed and throws an arm over his eyes.

He hears Brian stomp up the steps and stop at the foot of the bed. Justin feels the stare, so he lifts his arm and peers at Brian from under it.

Brian is looking at him as if he’s insane. “Fix you? What the fuck? When did I ever say ‘fix’?”

“Um … you didn’t,” Justin admits, feeling tired.

“Remember that vile shit you gave me to drink when I couldn’t get it up?” Brian shudders at the memory and Justin can’t help smiling.


“And remember mopping my puke off the bathroom floor? And shoving me into bed and bringing me water? Were you fixing me with that nursing crap?”

“Hardly,” Justin sighs. “I was just trying to make you better.”

“Really,” Brian says dryly.

Justin gets it. “I’m tired,” he says with a half-laugh, half-sob. “I’m so fucking tired.”

“I know,” Brian murmurs, and sits down on his side of the bed.

“All I draw is pictures of Rage and his dick,” Justin mumbles from under his arm.

“It’s a noteworthy subject,” Brian muses. “It deserves to be drawn.”

“I’m so fucking sick of it,” he admits. “I’m starting to hate Rage.”

“Ah, and thus dreaming that he dies a violent death?” Brian sounds amused more than anything else and Justin is relieved.

“I guess,” he acknowledges. The snap of a lighter and the smell of weed makes him laugh. “That’s your all-purpose cure for everything,” Justin says, but accepts the joint.

“Do you doubt it?” Brian asks.

“No,” he shrugs, and relishes the smoke he holds in his lungs.

Brian takes a deep drag and rests the joint on the ashtray. They blow their smoke out simultaneously and Justin relaxes almost immediately. “Good stuff,” he murmurs, and watches the lights in the dining room go blurry.

Two hits later and he’s just high enough to think that this is probably one of Brian’s best ideas ever. His dream is hazy now, slipping out of reach of his conscious mind, so Justin lets it go. He feels Brian slip a hand under his head and knead the tight spot at the base of his skull and he can’t help groaning with pleasure, fitting his head into the cradle of Brian’s palm.

“Don’t make noises like that when I’m stoned,” Brian warns, and cups himself gently.

Justin eyes Brian’s crotch. “Why not? It feels good.” He tosses his head in Brian’s hand, urging him to continue.

“I’m trying to be supportive and comforting,” Brian explains. “You keep purring at me and my dick says ‘screw support’.”

“Support and comfort from you is weird,” Justin tells him. “How about you just fuck me instead?”

“Oh, thank God,” Brian growls, and flips Justin to his stomach. “Fucking is much more productive than comfort.”

Justin smiles into his pillow and doesn’t bother pointing out that being fucked is comforting, he’ll just keep that thought to himself and let Brian do his thing.

And he does it well, Justin notes, because Brian strips him in less than ten seconds and presses himself to Justin's back. Justin stretches under him, feeling the muscles and sinew and length of Brian’s body.

He listens for the flip of the lube’s cap and tenses slightly for the entry that doesn’t come. Another ten seconds and he’s about to turn around, to ask Brian what’s the matter, when he feels a steady rhythm against the cleft of his ass and realizes that Brian’s jerking off against his body.

It makes Justin harder, if possible, and he holds his breath in order to hear Brian more clearly. Brian’s breathing is still even and slow, matching his strokes, but the arm he has braced near Justin’s head is beginning to tremble. Then the movements change slightly; Justin can feel Brian using the head of his cock to trace concentric circles over the curves of his ass, and for some reason that’s even hotter than Brian jacking off.

“Why is it always so fucking soft,” Brian whispers. “What the hell do you use on your ass to make it all silky and shit.”

“Baby lotion,” Justin confesses, and Brian laughs out loud.

“I spend a fortune on imported French crap and you use two-dollar baby lotion?”

“Secrets of the poor and destitute,” he smiles into the pillow, and Brian shows his appreciation by sliding down and placing his lips at the curve between butt and thigh. When he laves the skin there for long minutes, Justin has to move restlessly against the bed and part his legs. “C’mon,” he insists. “Quit playing.”

Flash of a grin against his ass, Justin feels the coolness of Brian’s teeth, and then two strong hands part him and the flat of Brian’s tongue is against the ridge of muscle. He makes long, easy stripes up and down each side, in no hurry at all, and Justin knows that anyone in the fucking world would come apart under Brian Kinney’s mouth if he ever gave them the chance.

Justin revels in it for as long as he can, thrusting himself slowly against the bed in time with the push of Brian’s tongue in his ass, until he knows that he’s about ten seconds away from coming all over the expensive sheets. “Brian,” he warns, and finds himself flipped to his back before he can blink. Brian’s cock rests heavy and hard against his thigh.

“You’re so easy,” Brian sighs. “One tongue in your ass and you jizz everywhere.”

Justin is unfazed. “Think of it as a testament to your talent.”

“Well, of course,” Brian agrees reasonably. “Let’s see how well you do on the other side.” He skims back down over Justin’s body, his chest brushing Justin’s twitching cock on the way, until Brian’s mouth rests lightly on the head of his dick.

Justin thinks he might be okay until he sees Brian glance up with an arched brow and wicked grin.

As far back as he can remember, which is only four years, really, so he guesses it isn’t that long, Justin has seen Brian receive countless blowjobs. He never remembers Brian delivering even one, aside from himself, of course. But he had to have done it sometime, aside from the furtive tryst with his gym teacher in high school, because how the hell else would he get so fucking good at it? He wants to ponder it more but it’s sort of impossible with Brian’s talented mouth and fingers all over him.

Brian’s five o’clock shadow scrapes lightly on Justin’s balls, making him twitch and jerk his left leg until Brian holds his thigh down with a firm hand. He’s covered in sweat, suddenly, his whole body hot with it, because Brian is sucking at him sweetly enough to bring tears to his eyes and make Justin open his mouth to get as much air as possible.

Brian whispers something against his cock between sucks, something Justin’s probably not meant to really hear, but it’s erotic just the same and he wonders how Brian makes his mouth so wet like that. He has to push deeper, he knows Brian can handle it, and when Justin thrusts upward he feels Brian’s throat relax for him.

Justin whimpers out loud.

He wants to wait, he really does, because it’s early and he’s gone on way longer than this before, but when one of Brian’s hands wraps firmly around the base of his dick and his mouth sucks hard at the head, Justin appeals to Brian’s merciful side. “Brian,” he begs, and can’t say more than that.

Brian looks up again, over the edge of Justin’s stomach, and says, “Go.”

Justin goes.

He comes with shudders and spasms, emptying himself into Brian’s mouth, and Brian willingly takes it all with ease until there’s nothing left and Justin lies there limply.

And just like that, his knees are pushed back by his ears and Brian’s covering him, his movements jerky and uncoordinated as he fumbles for the condom. Brian puts the wrapper in Justin’s mouth and growls, “bite,” so Justin uses sharp teeth to tear a corner of the packet off for him.

Brian slicks Justin first and then hastily does himself, and Justin wants to smile at his urgency, until he remembers his own need not fifteen seconds earlier. He lets his muscles go loose and pliant, easing Brian’s way until he’s inside as smooth as butter, and both of them are panting against each other’s mouth.

Justin puts a hand back on the pillow next to his head, searching, and grins up when Brian obliges him by curling their fingers together. Brian leans down to kiss him then, hard, and for long, long minutes without moving, until Justin is breathless and feels his dick stir against his stomach. Brian moves once, out and then in again, and then Justin is more than a little ready; he’s a lot ready and he wishes Brian would just move the tiniest bit - there.

They’re pressed together from stomach to chest, but Justin manages to arch up the littlest bit under Brian’s weight, enough for Brian to get the message. He leans down and presses his tongue to Justin’s collarbone, licking up to his ear in one long, wet swipe, and Justin feels the gooseflesh rise on his arms. His cock is trapped between them and that’s just fine with Justin – it’s perfect, really, especially because Brian starts to move and Justin doesn’t have to do anything but hold Brian’s gaze while Brian stares right back.

It’s not more than three drawn-out thrusts before Justin’s orgasm sneaks right the fuck up on him, intense enough for him to dig his nails into Brian’s biceps and hold himself against Brian’s sweaty stomach, and he knows Brian watches him all the way through it. Justin waits for Brian to take his turn, he usually follows suit within a few seconds, but nothing happens. He discovers then that Brian is holding himself up and away from Justin’s body, his arms quivering with the strain, a pleading look on his face. Justin is almost alarmed before he figures out what Brian wants.

“Go,” he tells him, mimicking Brian’s soft command from before, and Brian squeezes his eyes shut and comes with a rough, low grunt.

He slides off Justin eventually, but their hands stay linked.

* * *

He finds his sketchpad where he had discarded it under the couch, and when Brian wakes up an hour later, Justin shows him the picture.

“It’s my closet,” Brian says.

“Yes,” Justin confirms happily, his eyes tracing the simple lines, liking the way he captured the neat rows of shoes. “That is one fucking beautiful closet.”

“I told you the weed would help.”

Justin looks up over his shoulder at Brian, who stands elegantly naked behind him. “Not just the weed.”

Brian leans his hands on the back of the couch, one on either side of Justin’s shoulders, and studies the sketch. Justin can feel the warmth of Brian’s chest on his head. “What’s on your schedule today?” he asks Justin casually.

Justin thinks of the shit that Michael is waiting for and the packet of drawings that’s supposed to get faxed to Los Angeles. He wonders if the voice mail messages on his phone have reached astronomical proportions yet.

“I thought I’d draw your treadmill or something,” he shrugs, and Brian tangles a hand in his hair.