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Life As We Remember by starlight

MARTY

 

I swear, my life is going to be nothing but getting these two together. I wanted to ask why we were doing this again when they did everything right in the end, but I doubt the big guy cares what I think. It was strange meeting this Justin, because he wasn't the carefree man who loved only one man. I didn’t get why Justin had to be the one with the shit life. Not that Brian deserved it either, but he'd dealt with it before and understood it. I just pray he doesn't get pissed at what Justin went through, but I am talking about Brian.

 

I was given the choice of which one I would know and I chose Justin this time, because I was there for Brian through it all. I also knew that Brian triggered his own memory sooner than we thought he would. Justin no longer gets any heads up this time. Vic let me know that there was a purpose to all of this, and when I needed to know, I would, but not before Brian this time. It was frustrating that I couldn’t see the way I could the last time, but apparently I used my visions a little too freely and kept screwing them up the last time.

 

I was hoping the book that Ben wrote would get Justin’s memory back, or at least have Justin seeing that this wasn’t the life anyone would really want. I overheard Ted and Ben discussing the book Ben was writing and it sounded like a way to bring the Justin we know and love back to us. Only he seems to see the character’s flaws, not the love story of the ages. When Justin left the deli I went in to see if I could help Brian along. Justin still had his life story in his hands, but looked like he thought it needed to go in the recycle bin. He didn’t do it, but I could tell he wasn’t thrilled he couldn’t put it down. I went in to see Brian telling Mel good-bye, but staying at the table rubbing his face. I sat down in front of him and waited to see how much he knew so far.

 

“Decided you didn’t like the heels anymore?” Brian asks me.

 

“I still have a few, but I decided to try out the butch look this time around.” I tell him.

 

“Have you read the book?” I ask.

 

“Why?” Brian wants to know.

 

“I don’t know, but there’s something about the fact that Ben wrote it that bothers me.” I tell him.

 

“When I mentioned it as a possible novel, he seemed excited. I left it alone because I’m sure it’s going to become a snooze fest, like all of Ben’s work. I guess I was trying to trigger Justin, through Ben.” He tells me.

 

“You're going to have to be clearer this time. My mind reading is sporadic at best.” I tell him.

 

“I remembered everything because of meeting Ian, who is still the same self-important asshole. I was sitting there listening to him talk about himself while Michael agreed, like the ass kisser he is, and during Ian’s self importance speech he compared himself to great musicians and artists. I remembered everything, only because of a small reminder of who the fucker was in my past. I figured if Ben got the book published, there was a possibility that Justin would read it and remember.” He tells me.

 

“You put a lot of faith in possibilities, and after Ben never really writing something he could get published, you seriously thought it would work?” I ask.

 

“Our lives are tied to each other, so yeah. I have faith in how our lives have always tied us to the people we know in some way.” He tells me.

 

“Why did they bring us down again?” I ask.

 

“They didn’t tell you?” He asks me.

 

“No one will tell me. Apparently I didn’t use my vision the right way.” I tell him.

 

“What caused the Justin we're seeing?” He asks, not telling me why we were back.

 

“He was an orphan practically from birth. From what I can find out there's no parents or relatives. When I say find out it, I mean from what little he says.” I tell him.

 

“He's completely alone?” Brian asks.

 

“Other than a certain street kid, pretty much. Hunter found his way to Justin.” I tell him.

 

“They formed a tight bond when Jen adopted Hunter our last time here, so at least that makes sense, when nothing else does.” He tells me.

 

“I wish I could at least tell you what the purpose is this time. I came here wanting to at least give you a heads up on Justin, but you’ve already met him.” I tell him.

 

“I’ve met the heartless shit he wants everyone to believe he is.” Brian tells me.

 

“Trust me, he really doesn’t give a shit about anything. Maybe Hunter, because he lets him stay around, but other than Hunter, Justin doesn’t include anyone in his personal life.” I tell him.

 

“You don’t know Justin, and regardless of this tough outer shell, he's the same man who fought to be with me. Now it's my turn to turn the skeptic into a believer. It's just, with what we were sent here to do, having to win Justin back isn’t something I need added to this pile.” He tells me.

 

“Why are we here? Seriously, I hate that I don’t know.” I tell him.

 

“It’s poetic justice that I know and you don’t.” He smirks.

 

“I plan on being more help this time, I’ve been taking care of Sunshine’s stubborn ass all this time for you. I know this Justin in ways you don’t, and don’t mind sharing to get you two on track.” I tell him.

 

“It’s not about us this time, and unfortunately with all the changes in the people we know, it’s going to become a nightmare to unravel and fix this mess. I’m used to Justin being the voice of reason when I usually want to bulldoze the bullshit and make it what it’s suppose to be. The Big Guy has a sick sense of humor, but then at least he made some things easier this time. I no longer have Michael trying to fuck up this relationship that I AM going to make Justin understand will happen. Lindsay didn’t return, so that’s another point in our favor.” He tells me, as if thinking through what he needs to do.

 

“Do you plan on telling me? And why is Michael no longer a problem?” I ask.

 

“He and Ian are together.” He laughs.

 

“And… come on, I never thought anyone could pry the Michael we know from wanting you.” I tell him, when he wouldn’t answer.

 

“Michael grew up with Ethan being his best friend, but Ethan is still the fucker we know, but without the fiddle this time. I don’t like that he’s still linked to Justin in some way, but it’s the script we know. If Ethan thinks this is going to get him Justin, he’s fooling himself, because Justin barely paid attention to the asshole this time.” Brian tells me, really enjoying this.

 

“Is Justin paying attention to YOU? The Justin I know now isn’t going to fall at your feet the way Sunshine of the past would.” I remind him.

 

“He didn’t brush off the invitation to meet up, which I would’ve in the past. Someone doing what I did, would’ve been a turn off. He taunted me, saying that if he wasn’t busy, maybe I’d get his attention.” He tells me, as if that means Justin wasn’t just blowing him off.

 

“You think it means something?” I ask, confused.

 

“Of course, when I met Justin I tried the same thing. I wanted Justin, even after only one night, but he was everything that scared the shit out of me. I know exactly how he’ll react and how to get around what he’ll do to throw me off the Taylor cliff.” Does he really have to act smug about this?

 

“Enjoy the life you did to him, but maybe give me a clue as to why I had to leave to pamper your asses?” I growl at him.

 

“Here’s a clue, look at the couples and find the missing or wrong pieces of the puzzle. I’ve left it alone, because we have plenty of time to fix what’s wrong.” He tells me absolutely nothing that makes sense. “Who did you meet today?” He asks.

 

“Ben.” I tell him.

 

“Who is Ben seeing?” He asks me.

 

“I don’t know, because like I already said, I don’t get information the old way. I can see what Justin’s doing, but only minutes before he does it, so I have no way to stop him.” I tell him.

 

“Ben is seeing Ted, not Michael. Michael is now with Ethan, not passing the time waiting for me. But that’s because Ethan is all the things that make Mikey’s heart go pitter patter. Michael’s mother isn’t Deb. Deb is his aunt and Vic is still his uncle. Which Vic said wouldn’t happen next time. Although my daughter’s sense of humor has always been twisted, she should have let Michael have the life he could have. She felt Michael needed a little Ethan, because they both thought they should come help me and Justin to do anything but be together. Who’s left out of this?” He asks me, like it should be obvious.

 

“Mel and… shit where is he?” I ask.

 

“Like Justin, I haven’t found him. Mel is happy and doesn’t need us to change anything.” He tells me.

 

“Why Ben and Ted?” I ask. “Because even though Ted didn’t know, Blake carried the same significance in Ted’s life that Justin did in yours, and Drew in Emmett’s, it was obvious in how they kept coming back to each other.” I tell him.

 

“When we find out what Blake does for a living we’ll likely get a clue as to why Ben.” He tells me.

 

“Why did you and Justin get involved if it’s really about Blake and Ted?” I ask.

 

“The same reason Ted helped, because you don’t let your friends do it without helping them. We figured if we were going to be here, that we needed to have some control over where our lives took us. Only for some reason, Justin is in the dark, the same way he was the last time.” He tells me.

 

“Do you at least have him waiting to come out of this Justin? Because this Justin is driving me crazy with all the demands he makes.” I tell him.

 

“He’s always in there, but I doubt confessing my love will bring him back this time. I did try, but apparently it won’t be that easy to get him home to me.” He tells me, getting up to leave. “Emmett’s back, by the way, and he knows.” He tells me, smug that he knows more than me.

 

“So is Cynthia, and she has her own secret this time.” I tell him, just as smug.

 

“Where is she?” He asks.

 

“Sunshine got the kickass PA. I don’t know the secret, but it involves Justin.” I tell him.

 

“He always wanted her to be his.” Brian grumbles.

 

BRIAN

 

He got Cynthia! How did that happen? There were certain things that should always be fixed points in our lives! Cynthia is mine, the way Daphne should be Justin’s… and where the hell is Daphne in all this? Why are all the people who were in Justin’s life not here, but the people involved in mine are here?

 

Emmett was sitting around reading about Drew, ignoring my snit as I walked in. I’m not sure it’s healthy that he reads about Drew and the woman Drew is planning on marrying next month. Emmett tends to rip her out of the pictures and yell at Drew for still being in the closet again.

 

“Marilyn came to see me.” I tell him.

 

“Where has she been?” He asked, throwing the magazine in the trash.

 

“Protecting our Sunshine, who isn’t quite so sunny anymore.” I tell him.

 

“You should kick Baby’s ass for this one. His sense of humor really needs work.” Emmett blurts out, then winces when he realizes he just told on my twat.

 

“Care to explain that to me?” I ask.

 

“He’s going to kill me. He sort of mentioned it would be interesting to see your relationship from your side, then well, maybe, possibly, told them he wanted to come back and make you work for his ass this time. But like, he did say that once you convinced this Justin, that he was fine with just returning to you as your Justin.” Emmett tells me, trying to slip away.

 

“When will Justin learn that he could never be the asshole I was? It doesn’t matter what kind of life he lives, he can’t help but be the one that cares about people, even Michael. The guy who would leave him to die, if he could have me.” I rant.

 

“You both cared, he was just nicer about it.” He tells me.

 

“As much as he wants to play me in this life, we have other things we need to do.” I complain.

 

“Brian it’s still years off before they have to be together.” He tells me.

 

“They still have to meet, and it’s not going to be in the same way, with Ben playing around.” I tell him.

 

“Like you didn’t use Ben to get to Justin.” He tells me.

 

“I’m sure inside his head he’s still pissed that he can’t beat me at this game.” I tell him.

 

“What do you mean?” He asks.

 

“Ben wants to finally win something over me, by screwing up everything. He was only supposed to come back and help get Ted’s life on track, not date Ted. “ I tell him.

 

“Do you think he came back knowing too? He doesn’t act like he does.” He tells me.

 

“I need to get my hand on the fucking book I sort of encouraged him to write. I only did it because Ian was getting on my nerves.” I tell him.

 

“You don’t think he wrote something that changed you and Justin, do you?” He ask.

 

“He would, just to make my life harder, the way he saw me making his life harder with Michael.” I tell him.

 

JUSTIN

 

I threw the damn manuscript in a drawer, it’s like I can’t put it down. The backstory before the rewind makes me want to take the kid aside and ask what the hell was so special about the Aidan guy. Who wants to be shit on by a guy who tricks right in front of your ass while you're cooking dinner for him? Then he willingly comes back to the man who let the “Best Friend” say that shit about you, and brings him a steak for the eye? Seriously, there wouldn’t be any way to forgive that if I was the kid. Of course, the kid acts like it didn’t bother him, he knew what the shithead said about him in a past life. The other thing I don’t get is the kid wanting the guy who was the perfect partner to that asshole Charlie, oh sorry, Charles. Why have the kid professing that he would only love Aidan, but then practically comparing Byron to Aidan and letting the kid internally argue how he should have been with Byron the whole time. Byron sort of seems like he thinks his boring, intellectual lectures are what a seventeen year old would find sexy.

 

I want to publish the damn thing because people would buy it just to bitch about the characters in reading circles. I’ll likely do it, because I’m arguing in my head about it when I should be getting ready to go out for the night. Which I didn’t even plan on doing tonight, but for some reason I actually wouldn’t mind seeing him again. It would probably be better to stay away from him, because unlike the guys I normally hook up with, this one makes me want to break the rules I use to keep my life the way that works for me.

 

 

 

 

 

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