Chapter 13 - Who Is This Guy?
That's all it takes. Justin is officially moved in with me from that point on. Justin goes to school during the day while I work out, surf the web, watch TV or whatever. Sometimes I even go out to the Diner or to see Lindz and Gus. Mostly, though, I just stay in and wait till Justin gets home. As soon as he gets home, we fuck. Then he makes dinner, we eat, we fuck again, we read or watch TV or I help him with his school work, then we go to bed and fuck some more. It's pretty idyllic, at least at first.
Eventually I have to go back to work. It's not easy. I've been out of the game for six months and I feel rusty. I seem to have lost that killer edge too. I'm not the same person I was before the . . . well, just before. I keep wondering ‘Who is this Guy’ - the one I’ve turned into that I don’t even recognize half the time. I don’t really have any answers though. Needless to say, things aren’t going all that smoothly at work.
I seem to get a lot more stressed out these days, too. Well, maybe I used to get just as stressed out before, but back then I used to handle it differently. If work got to be too much, I’d just go out, get drunk, get stoned and fuck as many guys as I could lure to the back room. But I don’t do any of that any more.
Justin has been trying to get me to go out more lately. I’m worried that he’s getting bored. Ironic, isn’t it - he used to beg me to stay home for just one night every so often and now he’s begging me to take him out. We still go to Woody’s occasionally to have a drink with the rest of the guys, but I don’t drink very much or do drugs and I really don’t enjoy going to Babylon or the other clubs any more. I won’t say anything to Justin, let alone any of the others, but I get sort of panicky feeling sometimes with all the loud noises and wild lights. I totally see what Justin was dealing with after he was bashed and I’m more amazed than I can say at how quickly he recovered. I don’t think he’ll be able to say the same thing about me. Justin’s always been stronger than me emotionally.
I’m not really interested in other guys either - now that I have Justin back, especially after everything I went through to get him, I’m just not willing to screw it up with some random fuck. Nobody’s really commented that much about my big change in attitude. I guess my little breakdown and four months in the hospital was enough to convince even this crowd that I deserve the right to change that part of my life. Michael will still occasionally point out a hot guy to me as if to tempt me with some forbidden fruit, but I just can’t get up any enthusiasm for any of them so he doesn’t push it. Sorry boys, Brian Kinney is off the market.
But, without the booze, the drugs and the boys, I don’t have any outlet for the stress. All I can do is just hold on for now, I guess. Justin has been pretty wonderful through all this. But, even he is starting to show some irritation by this point. The other day we had a fight over something - I don’t even remember what it was about anymore - but I do remember that he said I was being too clingy. Me? Brian Kinney being ‘clingy’? Fuck. Where exactly did I lose my dick anyway? I’m pretty sure I had it around here once upon a time.
I get what he’s saying though. I have been a bit. . . . needy lately. I shouldn't have given him such a hard time the other night when he got in so late after going to that party with Daphne. I was the one who told him to go - fuck knows I didn't want to go to some high school beer bash. And I really do want him to go out and enjoy himself. I know he's young and deserves to have fun, it's just that I got worried when it started to get late and I didn't know where he was.
He also complained that I was hanging all over him the other night when we were out at Woody's. I admit it, but I had a very good reason. I saw someone there that made me just a little more than usually insecure - Ethan Gold had been there with a crowd of artsy types. I don't think Justin even noticed him. But I definitely saw Ethan checking out Justin when he was leaning over the bar reaching for a stack of napkins, that delectable little bubble butt wiggling in the air for all to admire. After that, I kinda didn't let Justin out of my sight for the rest of the evening until Ethan's group left.
Then there's also been the little disagreements lately about sex. I can't help it that I've felt a little bit needy in that department lately, too. That first time we argued over who was going to get to bottom, it was actually sort of funny - it was just so out of character for me. Lately, though, Justin says I've been selfish and making him do all the work. The more stressed I feel, though, the more I crave that feeling of being filled, cared for and claimed. Oh how the mighty top has fallen!
The upshot of our argument though is that I've agreed to give Justin a little bit more space. We set up some new 'rules' - not unlike those he demanded of me once in a different time. Justin now gets at least one weekend night to himself to go out and party with his friends and I'm not allowed to complain. He does agree to be home by 3:00 am and to at least call me and let me know where he's going in advance. And, I promise not to be so possessive of him when we're out together.
We've never really had the whole discussion about tricking. Justin knows I haven't been with anyone else since the hospital. I'm equally aware that he has been. I'm the last person on Earth to complain about my partner not being monogamous and he's always been discrete and considerate so I have no reason to complain. But, now that he's asserting a little more independence, I'm starting to worry. He's definitely tricking more. I can smell them on him when he gets home at night. I don't say anything but I don't like it much now that the shoe's on the other foot, either.
Somehow we make it through to the end of the school year, though. Justin graduates with honors and he's accepted into PIFA for the fall, as I knew he would be. I adamantly refuse to let him go to his Prom though, with or without me. Instead I take him away for the weekend to a little B&B in Virginia where I spend the whole time over-the-top romancing him. Ridiculously romantic without the bashing - much, much better in my opinion.
I'm starting to think that maybe I've fixed things and I'll make it past this year, finally.
At least I think so until about two weeks after we get back from Virginia. That weekend, Justin goes out on Saturday night. He tells me he's going to Boy Toy because he feels like dancing. I have a weird feeling about tonight but I refuse to say anything because I agreed to this and I never go back on my word once I've promised something.
I never can get to sleep until he gets home, though, which means I'm still awake when 3:00 am comes and goes and Justin doesn't return. I'm not too worried though until after 4:00 am also comes and goes without word. I've left messages on his cell phone and called the office at both Boy Toy and Babylon but no one's seen him. I have visions of bloody puddles and baseball bats in my head and I feel like I want to scream but I'm too afraid.
The sun is already up before Justin finally stumbles in, still wasted and reeking of some other man's cologne. I don't care. I run to him and wrap him in my arms, just glad that he's home and that he's okay. He doesn't seem nearly as happy to see me. He shrugs me off and heads to the bed without a word.
I follow him but much more slowly. What can I say? I have no right to be angry, not after everything I've done to him in the past - well in my past. How many times did I come home late - granted I never missed our agreed upon curfew except that one time I was in jail - drunk, stoned and smelling like my latest trick? A hundred times? More? So he screwed up one time, big deal, right? I have no right to complain. Still, I wish he'd showered before coming to bed because I haven't slept yet either but I can't get into the bed without smelling that cologne on the sheets. But I can't sleep away from him either. This is fucking hell.
By the time I finally wake up again, Justin's already getting dressed and ready to head out. I know I should just keep my mouth shut. Confronting him about this won't do anything. But, I just fucking can't stop myself.
"Justin, please stop. Tell me what's going on. What happened last night? We have an arrangement, you know?"
"Brian, I don't want to do this right now. I promised to meet someone for lunch. Can we do this later?" Justin says, looking at me with disdain.
"No, we can't do this later. I was fucking worried sick about you. You promised to be home by three. Where were you?"
"Drop it, Brian," is all he says before he storms out, slamming the loft door behind him.
Fuck. When did I turn into this needy little hausfrau who requires constant reassurance that I'm loved? I hate being like this. This isn't me. I thought that this was what I wanted, but it's not right. I'm not right. I'm afraid I'm going to lose him again. I'm driving him away and I can't stop myself.
In a panic I decide to head out and find him. I want to apologize. I need to make this right. I need to make Justin understand. I decide to finally tell him everything. I'm going to finally confess to him what happened nine months ago, why I ended up in the hospital, why I can't bear to be apart from him. I'm going to tell him all about all these strange past lives and all the fucked up ways I tried to get him back before. I hope that once he understands, he'll be able to forgive me.
I head to the Diner first. If he's there, great. If not, maybe someone there will be able to tell me where to find him - the queer community is pretty tight and everybody knows everybody, so all I have to do is tap the Diner's gay grapevine and I'm sure I'll find out anything I need.
But, it doesn't look like I'll be needing that grapevine after all. As soon as I walk into the Diner, I see them. Justin is sitting in a booth with his back to the door. Across from him is . . . well, it's me, sorta. The guy sitting there holding Justin's hand is dark haired, thin and, although he's sitting now, he looks tall. He's got that same arrogant swagger that I remember having once. He's younger than me by a good five years. But, he's pretty much the old me.
Deb sees me standing in the doorway and tries to intercept me. But, I'm not going to be deterred that easily. I sidestep around her, avoiding her concerned gaze, and walk over to Justin's booth. I stand there silently, looking down at their entwined hands, simply fascinated and unable to look away.
"Brian," Justin says, completely unashamed and apparently unsurprised to see me. "I told you I was meeting someone for lunch and we'd talk later. Why are you here?"
"I want to talk now, Justin. I . . . Can we please go somewhere so we can talk?"
"No. Brian, you know as well as I do that it's over. I'm sorry, but there's nothing to talk about," Justin calmly explains. "Brad has asked me to move in with him and I've agreed. We'll be over to pick up my stuff later. If you still want to talk, we can do it then, but it won't change anything. It's been great, but . . . I'm only eighteen and I'm too young to settle down and stagnate with you, Brian. I'm sorry."
That has to be one of the funniest things ever said to me. I start to laugh as soon as Justin's finished speaking. Justin's leaving me for someone more like me? Ha! This time it's not like the fiddler - I've given him romance, I tell him daily that I love him, I've fucking smothered him with care and concern, I've told him and shown him how much I need him and he's leaving me for some arrogant stud muffin? Ha, ha ha! And if that's not enough, it's someone who even looks like me. Ha ha hahahahaha! I'm laughing so hard now that tears are leaking out of my eyes and I absently wipe them away with my sleeve.
Justin and Brad are staring at me now with a mixture of horror and contempt. Deb has come up behind me and is trying to guide me away. For the first time I notice that Ted and Emmett are here too, and they're trying to help Deb get me outside. I don't resist. What's the point. I've done everything I could do to make this right and I've still fucked up. And the irony is that, after all is said and done, Justin didn't really want the romance, he wanted the old arrogant me all along. Ha!
Even after Ted and Em get me out of the Diner, I can't stop the hysterical laughter. Eventually Mikey shows up, probably called in by Deb, and the three of them somehow manage to get me back to the loft. I'm only chuckling occasionally now. They still look at me askance as if I'm about to explode or something. I can't explain to them why this is all so humorous though, so they don't get the joke. They just think I've lost it again. And maybe they're right, I probably have.
It eventually comes out that they've all known about Justin and Brad for a while now, but everyone was afraid to tell me. This isn't just some spur of the moment thing. It turns out Brad is the newest, hottest stud on the Avenue. They even say that he reminds them of me when I was younger. That starts me laughing again though and shuts them up pretty quickly.
I slowly get a hold of myself and the laughing stops. Mikey seems relieved that I'm taking this so well. He says he thought I'd break down, cry or at least get angry. But, he's glad I can see the humor in the situation. Oh, Michael! You never did understand my relationship with Justin. No matter how many times I've lived through this, Mikey still doesn't ever seem to get it. At least he's consistent.
I finally succeed in convincing them all to leave. I'm really a pretty good actor when I put some effort into it. I tell them I'm going to be all right and that I'm just going to go take a nap so I can be ready when Justin arrives. Michael seems a little unsure, but in the end I even convince him to leave.
Time to hit the reset button. Or, end it all, if that doesn't work. I really don't care that much anymore. I'm already prepared for this though. I've saved up some of my old medication from back when they first released me from the hospital. The sedatives they gave me to help me sleep were pretty strong. I haven't needed them in quite a while, but I never got rid of the extras, either.
There's twelve pills left in the bottle. It should be plenty. I chase them down with some scotch just to make sure. Then I change the sheets on the bed, strip and get under the covers. I've got an old tee shirt of Justin's that smells like him and I wad it up next to me as I wait till the pills start to kick in.
It's late and dark when I feel someone shaking me, trying to wake me up.
"Brian! Brian, fuck! Wake up. Wake up, damn it!" Justin's voice sounds angry and worried. "Shit. I should have known he'd do this. Call 911."
I want to reassure him that it's okay and he doesn't need to worry. I'm just going to start over again. But, I don't seem able to form words. His voice is fading but I can still hear him and then in the distance I hear a siren blaring and a strange *beep beep beep* noise closer to me.
"I'm sorry, Brian. Fuck. I didn't mean to hurt you like this. I'm so sorry," I can just barely hear Justin now. "Wake up, Brian. Please wake up . . ."
*Beep, beep, beep*
"Wake up, Brian.” I hear Justin saying.
Shit. For a minute or two I worry that it didn’t work and I’m still stuck in that last lifetime where I was a pathetic lump that Justin eventually got tired of taking care of. But, then I notice that it’s daylight out so it couldn’t be the same night I was living through before. Then Justin lightly shakes my shoulder, not as if he were desperate to save me but as if he’s trying to gently wake me for a normal day.
“Your alarm has been going off for five minutes now. Don't you need to get up?" Justin says, and promptly rolls over to switch off the beeping noise.
"Good morning, Sunshine," I say, completely relieved and ready to try again, as I roll towards him and pull him into my arms. "It looks like we've got this brand new day and a clean slate ahead of us. So, how should we work it this time around?"
"Huh?" he asks, with an adorably confused look on his face.
"It's nothing," I tell him, not wanting to start the day off with awkward explanations, but wondering nonetheless exactly what I should do next.
How DO I want to work it this time around? I don’t want to just do the same things over and over that I know don’t work. I don’t know what will work, what will eventually get me through this fucking horrible year that I keep reliving, but I do know what won’t work. I know for a fact that I don’t want to repeat the last year where I was a pathetic schmuck who was afraid of his own shadow. I’m still probably fucked up a little over the whole police bashing incident, but that was more than a year ago - in my altered timeline, at least - and I think it’s time I move beyond it. I don’t want to just repeat the past though. I’m sick to death of doing the same things over and over. How about I try a wholly new tack? Honesty, maybe? Fuck, it’s worth trying, I guess.
“Fuck it, Sunshine. I’m getting sick and tired of this whole dance. Can’t we just cut to the chase, hm?” I say, sitting up in bed and pulling Justin up so he’s sitting in front of me giving me his full attention. “You’re young and this is your first time through this, so this is all new to you. But it’s not for me. I’ve done this before and I already know how this is going to go. So, let me tell you what’s going to happen.”
“You really like me, right? Maybe even more than like me?” I ask and smile as he shyly nods at me. “Of course you do. Well, I could pretend that I don’t care about you as much as I really do and we could go back and forth and eventually I would give in and you could move in with me and sometime after that I’d admit that I love you. But the bottom line is that I do care about you, Justin. I know this seems sudden to you, but for me it’s been a long time coming.”
“So, for the sake of my questionable sanity, can we please just skip all the bullshit this time? I want you, Justin. I want you to stay with me. Even if for some reason I didn't want to want you, I have no choice - I have to make this work. And, I know this seems incomprehensible, but it's true. You're fucking IT for me."
"And I'm assuming that you really do, after everything's said and done, want to be with me, too, otherwise none of this would make sense," I look at him and he's blushing adorably, which I take as an affirmation.
"This is what I propose, then - let's forget all the games and just get on with it. We'll just start off with the understanding that we are officially a couple. That should speed things up considerably. Good?"
"Brian, not that I object or anything, but you do remember that I'm only 17 right? And you're . . . older. So how exactly does this work?"
"That, my dear, is the million dollar question, isn't it. I have no fucking idea how to make this work. The only thing I know that we do right is fuck - well, most of the time. Outside of bed, though, shit gets way too complicated. I'm open to suggestions, though."
"We could just stay in bed all day and never leave," Justin suggests enthusiastically.
"Why not?" I agree, pouncing on my blond boy and pinning him against the mattress. "We can always try it. I'm pretty sure that eventually I'll have to go to work and your family will come looking for you, but I'll try anything once. Let the sex marathon commence!"
And, even if this tactic doesn't work in the long run, it certainly starts off great! We start the day with a quick fast fuck right there to seal the agreement. Then I call into work and tell them I’m not coming in today while Justin calls and tells Daphne where he is so she won’t worry. Next, I pretend to be Craig and excuse Justin from class for the day. Piece of cake, right?
When Mikey shows up, we’re just getting out of the shower and I’m towelling off Justin’s hair after forcibly taking away his towel and throwing him down on the bed again. Fuck he’s insatiable sometimes. That’s probably why we’re such a good match.
“What the fuck, Brian. Why the hell aren’t you ready to go? You’re going to make me late!” is the first thing out of Mikey’s mouth when he lets himself into the loft and storms into the bedroom to find both Justin and I naked and obviously not interested in the least in finding clothes or getting ready to head out for the day. “And what’s Boy Wonder still doing here? I thought you’d have had enough of him by now.”
“Sorry, Mikey. I’ll never get enough of Sunshine here, so you’d better just get used to seeing him around. And, I’m not going to work today, so you can keep the Jeep.”
“Why aren’t you going to work?” Michael demands, standing there with his arms crossed and an accusatory look on his face as if he was channelling the local truant officer.
“Justin proposed that we stay in bed and fuck all day, and I thought it sounded like a great idea. So, for the foreseeable future, or until both our dicks give out, we’ll be here in the loft. Don’t forget to lock up on your way out, now,” I tell him, proceeding to crawl up the bed to where Justin is waiting for me, slowly stroking his cock, already getting started on the next round. “Oh, and Mikey, when you’re done with it, can you please drop the Jeep off at the body shop next to my office so it can be repainted.”
“Shit. How’d you know about the Jeep getting tagged? Brian? Brian, Fuck!” Michael finally gives up waiting for an answer when he notices my mouth is full of Justin’s dick, and he stomps back out of the loft.
From then on it’s nothing but sucking and fucking, rimming and ramming for most of the rest of the day. We have to stop about 10:00 am when Justin’s stomach starts growling so loudly I can’t stand it any longer. I order in a huge amount of food from the local deli - hopefully it’s enough to keep us going for the rest of the day. We also take a longish nap in the middle of the afternoon since we were up most all the night and it’s hard to fuck when you’re yawning. But, otherwise, we keep up a pretty good, steady pace all day until about 6:00 pm when we both have to admit that neither of our asses can take any more and even another blow job seems like it would be just too much. I don’t know what the world record is for consecutive fucks in a 24 hour period, but we have to have come pretty close to it.
“What do you say, Sunshine? Do we dare venture outside for some sustenance and maybe some company?” I ask, only partly joking, sure as I am that any course of action this enjoyable can’t be the right one - shouldn’t there be more trouble and angst involved in getting this right?
“I think we can risk it,” Justin says with a smile. “What’s the worst that can happen?”
“You DON’T want to ask that, Justin.” I tell him, now convinced that he’s probably jinxed us.