Justin waits to see how Brian reacts to having him home before he makes any assumptions. Hes learned in four years not to ever assume anything where Brians 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 Brians 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 Justins sorting his socks, so Justin spends fifteen minutes in the bathroom and comes to bed with his skin still damp and smelling of Brians expensive shower gel. He buries his cold nose in Brians neck. I dont like that new shower wash stuff, he whispers, and nudges his erection against Brians 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 Brians hand encircles his cock. But I cant find it here.
Look online, Brian suggests, and rubs his dick on Justins thigh.
I did, Justin sighs, but its this little company that doesnt -
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 cant 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.
Im sending a guy to meet with you, he says to Justin on the phone, very late Saturday night.
Justin eyes Brians 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. Were 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. Its fine. When? Next week?
Tomorrow, Brett laughs. You know that whole time is money thing. Hes getting on a six a.m. flight and will be there by three your time. Shouldnt take you more than a few hours to pound it all out.
Cant I conference call? Justin asks, not very hopefully, and pictures the Sunday dinner at Debs that hes 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 isnt going to do it. Johnll call you when he gets in. He hangs up in the middle of Justins goodbye and Justin is reminded again why he doesnt 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 Brians curious stare. What, Justin says tiredly.
Whyre 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 hes 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 Justins 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. Its 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 youre sort of hot with glitter everywhere.
Im sort of hot anyway, Justin tells him, and Brian grins back.
Yeah, he says, and swats Justins ass. You sort of are.
I cant go to Debs tomorrow, he blurts out, and then waits for a reaction. He doesnt get much of one, which is really what he anticipated anyway.
Im not telling her, Brian shrugs. You stuck me with that last week.
Ill call her in the morning, Justin says wearily. Bring me leftovers.
I always do.
* * *
Justin doesnt detect annoyance from Brian until at least a month later.
He doesnt mean to fall asleep while Brians giving him head; it just sort of happens. He starts out really horny and turned on, but the soft rhythm of Brians tongue lulls him into a dreamy state of relaxation. Justin doesnt even realize hes 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, Im sorry, Justin says, but cant hide a huge yawn.
Brian crawls up to lie next to him and Justin thinks hes pissed off, but Brian just studies him quietly. Im no fucking nursemaid, Brian says, and Justin doesnt know what he means until Brian continues. You dont sleep, you barely eat, and when you do stop to shove something in your mouth, its 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. Youre going to get sick. And I am not taking care of you when you do.
Noted, Justin sighs. Dont worry.
Oh, Im 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 cant, 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 shits usually taken care of months in advance.
He changes his mind a lot, Justin says. He doesnt know if hell 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?
Im not a complete moron, Brian, Justin snaps. You think I fucking do all this crap for free?
I dont know, Brian says pleasantly. Maybe if we had a discussion about anything for more than ten seconds, Id be somewhat informed.
Justin glares at the back of Brians head. Whats 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 Ill 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 wont 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 hasnt 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 Brians face.
He remembers a panel hes supposed to get to Michael by four, so the drawing gets abandoned.
* * *
When Michael mentions Babylon at the diner three days later, Justin catches Brians 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 Justins cock, sliding in tightly and pushing him even more firmly against the wall. Justin finds he cant even thrust backward, their bodies are too pressed together, and he arches his neck and lays his head against Brians shoulder.
The haze in the back room turns blue behind Justins eyes. He starts to giggle when he feels his orgasm approach because it just feels so normal, finally. One damn night where he doesnt have to work or take phone calls or sketch something to someone elses specifications, and when Brian reaches around to slide his pinky through Justins nipple ring, Justin shudders and jerks and comes all over Brians other hand.
* * *
He has a nightmare that night.
At first, he thinks Brian just wants to fuck. He pushes at him with a mumbled, Dont you ever sleep?
Justin receives a jarring shake in return. Wake up.
He blinks sleepily at Brian, who is straddling him in the dark. Im up.
Good, Brian says, climbing off. Now go back to sleep.
Okay, Justin yawns, and doesnt 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. Brians 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 wasnt, I dont think. He really cant 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 Brians 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 Justins bare back.
* * *
Brian doesnt have to wake Justin up at night for two weeks. When it happens again, Justin has a vague feeling of unease that he cant attribute to anything, but its 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 Im not sure.
God! How do you not remember what youre dreaming about? Brian is really pissed now and Justin still doesnt know why.
I dont know, Justin says lamely, and wishes Brian would let him go back to sleep.
Cant you say anything worthwhile?
How about Im really fucking tired and youre 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, Youve been waking me up with all your thrashing around and shit.
And you dont want any thrashing around unless youre causing it?
Dont be cute.
Thats not an option.
Brian snorts despite himself, and Justin feels better. He lies back down, but Brian says, Oh, no, you dont.
What? I cant 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 hes alone. Brian is out catting around and the loft is silent and still, Justins preliminary Rage II: Vengeance Again sketches strewn in orderly chaos around the table.
Its 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 hes 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 nights work.
Whoa, Brian says, his voice made rough with liquor and smoke, hey. Its just me.
Justin blinks at him, his eyes focusing on Brians 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 Brians face and finds Brian studying him.
Were you sleeping?
I think, Justin answers. He cant 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 wouldnt 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 Brians quiet hey as a form of address or sometimes Sunshine when hes feeling affectionate. But Brian saves Justins given name for serious situations, so Justin wonders vaguely why hes 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 dont know! he shouts, shooting to his feet and tipping his chair over backwards. Jesus, stop fucking asking me that! I dont know, okay? I dont its just God! I have no idea whats wrong with me!
Figure it out, Brian says calmly while Justin paces the floor, ignoring his ruined sketches. Because Im losing sleep trying to keep watch over you.
I dont 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 wasnt 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 cant just fix me all the time. Why do I have to be fixed? Why cant 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 hes insane. Fix you? What the fuck? When did I ever say fix?
Um you didnt, Justin admits, feeling tired.
Remember that vile shit you gave me to drink when I couldnt get it up? Brian shudders at the memory and Justin cant 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. Im tired, he says with a half-laugh, half-sob. Im 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.
Its a noteworthy subject, Brian muses. It deserves to be drawn.
Im so fucking sick of it, he admits. Im 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. Thats 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 hes just high enough to think that this is probably one of Brians 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 cant help groaning with pleasure, fitting his head into the cradle of Brians palm.
Dont make noises like that when Im stoned, Brian warns, and cups himself gently.
Justin eyes Brians crotch. Why not? It feels good. He tosses his head in Brians hand, urging him to continue.
Im 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 doesnt bother pointing out that being fucked is comforting, hell 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 Brians body.
He listens for the flip of the lubes cap and tenses slightly for the entry that doesnt come. Another ten seconds and hes about to turn around, to ask Brian whats the matter, when he feels a steady rhythm against the cleft of his ass and realizes that Brians jerking off against his body.
It makes Justin harder, if possible, and he holds his breath in order to hear Brian more clearly. Brians breathing is still even and slow, matching his strokes, but the arm he has braced near Justins 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 thats 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. Cmon, he insists. Quit playing.
Flash of a grin against his ass, Justin feels the coolness of Brians teeth, and then two strong hands part him and the flat of Brians 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 Kinneys 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 Brians tongue in his ass, until he knows that hes 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. Brians cock rests heavy and hard against his thigh.
Youre 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. Lets see how well you do on the other side. He skims back down over Justins body, his chest brushing Justins twitching cock on the way, until Brians 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 isnt 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 its sort of impossible with Brians talented mouth and fingers all over him.
Brians five oclock shadow scrapes lightly on Justins balls, making him twitch and jerk his left leg until Brian holds his thigh down with a firm hand. Hes 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 Justins probably not meant to really hear, but its 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 Brians throat relax for him.
Justin whimpers out loud.
He wants to wait, he really does, because its early and hes gone on way longer than this before, but when one of Brians hands wraps firmly around the base of his dick and his mouth sucks hard at the head, Justin appeals to Brians merciful side. Brian, he begs, and cant say more than that.
Brian looks up again, over the edge of Justins stomach, and says, Go.
He comes with shudders and spasms, emptying himself into Brians mouth, and Brian willingly takes it all with ease until theres nothing left and Justin lies there limply.
And just like that, his knees are pushed back by his ears and Brians covering him, his movements jerky and uncoordinated as he fumbles for the condom. Brian puts the wrapper in Justins 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 Brians way until hes inside as smooth as butter, and both of them are panting against each others 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; hes a lot ready and he wishes Brian would just move the tiniest bit - there.
Theyre pressed together from stomach to chest, but Justin manages to arch up the littlest bit under Brians weight, enough for Brian to get the message. He leans down and presses his tongue to Justins 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 thats just fine with Justin its perfect, really, especially because Brian starts to move and Justin doesnt have to do anything but hold Brians gaze while Brian stares right back.
Its not more than three drawn-out thrusts before Justins orgasm sneaks right the fuck up on him, intense enough for him to dig his nails into Brians biceps and hold himself against Brians 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 Justins 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 Brians 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.
Its 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 Justins shoulders, and studies the sketch. Justin can feel the warmth of Brians chest on his head. Whats on your schedule today? he asks Justin casually.
Justin thinks of the shit that Michael is waiting for and the packet of drawings thats supposed to get faxed to Los Angeles. He wonders if the voice mail messages on his phone have reached astronomical proportions yet.
I thought Id draw your treadmill or something, he shrugs, and Brian tangles a hand in his hair.