The drive back to the loft was dead silent. Brian kept glancing back and forth from Justin and the road but Justin didn't comply once and just kept his eyes away from Brian's. Brian realised he felt kind of nervous to talk to Justin, he didn't know why he was doing this… he's never done anything like this before. He tried to ignore all the foreign emotions he was feeling and tried to just focus on driving.
Just as Brian pulled up to the parking space in front of his loft he noticed Justin scratching at his hands again. It made him wonder if the kid even knew if he was doing it or not. You could see sore red marks and scratches and even small spots of blood coming from where he just kept on scratching. Brian turned off the ignition and undid his seatbelt. He turned his body just enough so he was slightly facing Justin. He took a breath and then reached for Justin's hands to stop the boy from doing any more damage to himself. “Stop doing that, you're going to make your hands sore.” Brian licked at his thumb and placed it on the small wounds that were showing blood to try and soothe them. All Justin could do was look up at Brian and feel tears running down his cheeks. He hadn’t even noticed himself doing it. It was almost like it was his coping mechanism and he hated it. Just as Brian had said, his hands were always sore because of it, which made him cry even more so as he realised Brian was right.
Brian looks up to see the tears running down Justin’s beautiful rosy cheeks and something in his heart hurts. He removes one of his hands that are holding onto Justin’s and starts to wipe away the tears. However, he gets stopped by Justin flinching his face away from his touch and having his hands shoved away.
“Stop it” Justin says quietly as he undoes his seatbelt. “Just stop it!” He says a bit louder, almost near to a shout as he tries to open the door of the jeep to get out. Brian is quick to grab his arm and stop him from getting out though.
“Please Justin, I didn’t mean to do anything to upset you. Just wait a minute?” Brian finds himself almost begging.
Justin just sits there looking at where Brian’s hand is on his arm and then meeting the hazel eyes. Brian takes that as a silent request, so he takes his hand away from Justin’s arm. They sit there in silence for a minute or two until Brian starts to feel uncomfortable.
“Look, Justin. Just tell me what to do to get all this shit out of the way so we can forget about. This is so tiring.” He says as he combs is fingers through his hair.
Justin snorts out of frustration and annoyance. “Yeah it is fucking tiring, try being the one with the fucking broken heart and the stupidity of believing anything that comes out of your fucking mouth!” Justin opens the door of the jeep once again and slams it shut. He starts to walk away from the jeep, down the street and away from Brian.
Brian is caught off guard by Justin's actions but quickly opens the jeep door and starts to walk after him.
When Justin looks back and realises Brian is catching up with him he stops and turns to face him. “Stop. Just make it easier on yourself and leave me alone.” Yet again he was fidgeting with his hands and they were bleeding the worse he had ever seen.
Brian sees his hands and feels quite sick to his stomach as he has never seen anyone deal with stress or hurt the way Justin does: by hurting himself. “No” he says as he pushes Justin up against the wall of his building and takes his hands again. Luckily, he had tissues in his jacket, so he used them to clean up the boy’s hands. He met Justin’s eyes and saw the pain that the boy was feeling, trying to soothe him with his own calming expression. After most of the blotches of blood had gone, he was about to start and kiss the soreness away, however, Justin pushed him away and started to cry.
“Stop! Brian!” He is more upset then angry. “Would you just STOP!” Justin pushes Brian away once more and starts to walk away. Brian was starting to feel hurt and annoyed at how Justin kept pushing him away, but then he realised he basically did the exact same thing to him earlier that night. He was suddenly pulled out of his thoughts as he heard a loud honk from a car down the road and towards the direction Justin had just gone it.
He walked after the kid once again to see him standing just in front of a car that looked like it had almost hit him. Justin was frozen in place as shock took over his body. He was so out of it that he hadn’t even thought to look when crossing the road.
“Justin! Are you okay?” Justin heard Brian call for him, which made him move and pick up his speed that he started to jog away from Brian. Why won’t he just leave me alone?
Brian quickly notices Justin pick up his speed and runs after him. As soon as he catches up with Justin, he reaches one of his long arms around his waist and the other around his chest and stops the boy in his tracks. They almost fall face first to the floor but Brian could keep a good enough balance to make them fall over onto Brian's ass and catching Justin's fall onto his lap.
“Justin, why do you keep running away from me?” Brian says slightly out of breath.
“Let go of me! You can't do that to me! It’s not fair!” Justin was in tears, sobbing and hitting Brian's arms to try and get out of the tight grip he had on him.
“Do what? Justin calm down. What am I doing that keeps making you run away from me?” Brian is so confused right now that all he can do is wait for Justin to answer while he makes his hold on him even tighter so he can't get away.
At first Justin wasn’t going to let him in. But he had to explain that Brian was confusing him, kept caring for him but beforehand shrugging him off like nothing. It just didn’t make any sense. See, Justin’s life at home was horrible. He would normally stay at Daphne’s as it was constant judgement at home. He never felt cared for or loved. He never felt good enough. He knows he has mental health issues, and so when he met Brian he thought that he finally had something in his life to be excited about and he could forget about all the problems and he was finally happy. Yes, he had Daphne, but she recently got a new boyfriend so he felt lonely. And he wanted a boyfriend, he wanted someone to love and someone to love him back. So, when Brian came along he thought it was meant to be. He felt it! But now, just like always, he wasn’t cared for or loved. Love was bullshit.
Justin finally answered him. “Care for me. Soothe my hands where they hurt, look at me as if you want to help me and be there for me. It's too confusing. It's not fair. You say you don't care about me and that all I am is another fuck...” he is still trying to get out of Brian's strong hold and is starting to get out of breath. “...but then you look at me, like that! And you-you hold me close to you as if you never want me to leave and you make sure my tears don't reach my chin and you… you...” he finally stops hitting Brian's arms and fighting against his strength as he just feels too weak now. He doesn't really know what he's doing or saying and now he feels dizzy again.
Brian just sits there holding Justin close to him and rocking them back and forth trying to soothe him and help him calm down. Once he feels like Justin won't run away again, he loosens his grip and starts to move Justin around so he can see his face. He sees the boy breathing heavily but can feel that his body is weak. He decides to get up from the ground and pick Justin up. He carries him in his arms as he walks towards the loft to take him inside.
Justin doesn't fight Brian and just lets him carry him in his strong and comforting arms. He tilts his head on his shoulders and gets his breathing back under control.
Brian just about opens the loft door as it is quite difficult with Justin still in his arms. He walks towards the bed and lays Justin down on top of the covers. He walks back over to close the front door and then heads into the kitchen to grab Justin a bottle of water and himself a glass of beam. Before he can go back over to Justin though, he takes a minute to compose himself and takes a deep breath.
“Here, drink some water.” Brian hands Justin the bottle of water as he sits down on the side of the bed next to Justin.
Justin is hesitant at first when he looks at Brian. But eventually after sitting up slightly, he takes the bottle and drinks a little. He then places the bottle on the bedside table and sits back, resting on the headboard.
For a while there is an awkward silence between the two of them, but Brian feels it's necessary to start talking now so that they can get it over with. So, he decides to stand up and walk around the bed until he is sitting right next to Justin on the bed. He copies Justin and takes a few sips of his beam and then places the glass on the bedside table.
Just as he was about to place an arm around Justin to try and comfort him, he noticed Justin fidgeting and scratching his hands again. He had noticed that it was Justin’s coping mechanism when he was either angry, scared or nervous. He was about to reach for his hands but then remembered what Justin had said to him outside. He got back up out of bed and walked into the bathroom.
Justin was just sitting there, waiting for Brian to initiate the talk. He was confused when Brian sat down on the bed really close to him, but then got back up and went into the bathroom. He looked in the direction of Brian's retreating back and then quickly looked down at his hands when he noticed Brian reappear. That's when he realised he was doing the scratching thing to his hands again. Making them bleed again.
Brian walked back out of the bathroom and went into the kitchen. Justin didn’t know what he was doing but could just about make out that Brian had grabbed something from the kitchen counter. Brian walked back over to the bedroom and knelt onto the bed. He then straddled Justin's legs, sat down and looked at the beautiful boy in front of him. Blue eyes met hazel ones as the sudden position they were in was a shock, however he didn't move Brian from where he was.
Brian reached out to grab the scratched hands. He held out a damp rag and some salt. Justin’s eyes grew big as he now knew what Brian was going to do. Brian reached for Justin’s right hand as he looked into the deep ocean blue eyes. He took the salt and waited a couple seconds before he sprinkled the salt onto Justin’s hands and over the open cuts and scratches. Justin cried out in pain and tried to move his hand away from Brian but he had a tight grip. Brian placed the salt back down and grabbed the warm and damp rag. He placed it over Justin’s hand. Brian hated it that he was physically hurting Justin, but he wanted to heal his hands. The rag had at first intensified the pain but then help to subdue it. After a couple of minutes Brian pulled the rag off Justin’s hand and then went through the same routine for Justin’s left hand, which wasn’t any easier. After the small spots of blood were gone and his hands had calmed down so they weren't so red, Brian pulled one hand up at a time and softly kissed them to try and soothe the wounds even more. He then grabbed some cream out from his pockets that he got from the bathroom earlier and began to place small dollops on his hands and massaged them gently. He had no idea where this was coming from just like before outside, but it just felt right to help Justin. He was glad that Justin let him do it this time.
Justin looked up to see Brian kissing his hands and finally let a faint smile spread across his lips. He knew he was totally fucked. He hated this man for treating him how he did, but he could also see Brian was trying. He didn’t know or really understand why, after he had kicked him out. But he could see that Brian almost looked or felt guilty. Maybe he did want Justin to stay in his life? And Justin realised he also loved him so much that he would do anything to have him in his life.
Brian looked down to see the faint smile spreading across Justin's lips and it made him feel just a little bit better. He moved all the stuff he had brought over onto the bedside table and sat close next to Justin. “Why do you do that to yourself? Do you even realise when you do that to yourself?” Brian asked in just above a whisper.
Justin looked down to see his hands and shook his head. “No, not really. It's just a habit I guess. I only ever notice if it bleeds a lot.” Justin just kept looking at his hands.
Brian pulled Justin so he was straddling him, he hugged him close and nuzzled his face into the crook of his neck. “I think you need to try and find a new habit. It's really difficult to watch you hurt yourself.” Brian said into Justin’s neck that he nearly didn’t hear him. Plus, it made him flinch slightly from the tickle. Justin loved the feeling of Brian holding him. Being in his arms just felt so right. Brian moved slightly so he could face Justin. He saw strands of hair in front of his favourite pair of eyes. He wiped away the golden locks of hair and placed it behind his little seashell ear.
“I probably should huh?” Justin chuckled softly, trying to lighten the mood. He looked into Brian's eyes and felt bad for making him constantly see his bad habit. He hated it that he couldn't always control it.
Brian couldn't keep his eyes off this beautiful blond boy in front of him. He couldn't understand how or why he chose to throw him out earlier that night. He just got so scared that he could have had something special with someone. He didn't deserve that right? He didn't want a relationship, or all the lesbianic sentiments that are included in a relationship… did he?
He decided to ignore all the ‘warning’ signs going off in his head to tell him to chuck the boy out again as panic started to take over his emotions. Why did he always feel like this when he possibly felt something for someone? To be honest he has never felt this strongly attracted to another man in his life, but not just that, he cares for this boy and he wants to hold him. Even cuddle him?! What was going on. I guess like Justin, he needed to get out of that habit and start to trust that he could truly be happy. He knew it was going to be tough and he would probably fuck it up… shit, he already had. But he promised himself he wouldn't hurt Justin on purpose ever again. He wouldn’t Justin because he feared losing his reputation, that wasn’t right. He wanted Justin to come first. Shit! What was happening? He wanted to get to know Justin.
“Do you know how it started?” He asked warily as it might be a tough subject for Justin.
Justin wasn’t sure if he wanted to go into depth as he hated people feeling sorry for him or having sympathy. It made him feel uncomfortable. But he also wanted Brian to know. He wanted to get to know him and have Brian know more about himself.
“I think it started around the time I found out I was gay. I was around the age of 13 I think. It gave me a lot of anxiety as I was always told it was a sin - my family is very church based. My dad would always tell me how he pictured my future and how he couldn’t wait until I brought my first girlfriend home. He would always come into my room without knocking and talk to me about sports and shit I had no interest in. One night he came in while I was sketching. I had been drawing this hot guy that was in my gym class. I did multiple portraits of him and then his body. My dad burst in like always and he had seen it. He got so mad that he snatched it away from me and my pencil. He caught the back of my hand with the pencil which had scratched it and caused it to bleed. I guess I was in shock of how badly he reacted to me just sketching a male body part that I knew I would never be able to tell him I was gay. And for some reason I was became fascinated by the scratch and blood on my hand that it kind of blocked out what he was saying and my nerves and anxiety kind of felt numb. I wouldn’t exactly say it disappeared but it didn’t feel so heavy. So, I guess my mind took that in and every time I feel anxious, scared or even angry sometimes, I find myself scratching and making a different pain to what I feel inside. I tried cutting my arm and legs but it didn’t feel the same. It didn’t help me forget. Plus, I can fidget with my hands anywhere really. I guess that’s why I sometimes don’t realise I’m doing it. I know it sounds like such a stupid thing but I haven’t been able to stop ever since” There was a big pause. “Actually, you’re the first person to actually notice it. Or at least try to stop me and ask me about it. No one else has seemed to care.”
Brian was speechless. He had no words for how he was feeling. He couldn’t even imagine doing that to himself. Yeah, he drunk himself silly sometimes and took hit after pill after tab but he had never thought to hurt himself like that. He could see Justin was starting to feel uncomfortable. He took ahold of Justin’s hands and looked at them. He had actually noticed something was up with them to first night they met but thought he just played sports or some shit that fucked up his hands.
Brian was pulled out of his thoughts as Justin had removed his hands from Brian’s hold and gotten up to start looking around the loft. Before following Justin to see what he was doing, he looked at his clock and realised just how late it really was. Even though he would probably still be at the club at this time in the morning: 2:45am, he felt extremely tired from tonight's events. He walked over to Justin who was now looking out of the floor to ceiling window, almost contemplating about something.
Brian placed his head on Justin’s shoulder and wrapped his arms around his waist. He took a couple minutes before he decided to talk. “It’s not stupid. It’s completely understandable. I just wish you hadn’t gone through all of that.” He didn’t know where that came from but he was just going to stick with it. Justin slowly nodded and enjoyed Brian’s touch.
“You got school tomorrow?” Brian asked as he had learnt from earlier that night Justin was 17 and still in school. He also wanted to change the subject so Justin didn’t feel uncomfortable.
Justin was grateful for the change of topic. “No thank god. I have 2 weeks off for my study leave. I have my SATs coming up soon so they gave the students some time off to ‘study’.
“Do you not enjoy school? I mean I know most teenagers don’t like it, but you seem pretty smart” Brian turns him around to face him and pulls him in for a hug. He plays with the back of the golden locks. At first Justin doesn't respond so he thinks about moving away but then he feels Justin's smaller hands wrapping around his waist holding him close and his head resting in the crook of his neck. He smiles to himself as he feels comfortable with Justin in his arms.
Justin leans into the embrace and lets himself smile at Brian’s words. He thinks I’m smart? He sighs out slightly. Almost as if letting go of some of the anger and emotion he had gone through that night.
“I hate it. I have to deal with all these homophobic dicks at school who bully me… Around about last month, this one guy caught me staring at the jocks in the showers with their dicks out. Ever since then, him and all his friends have given me shit about it. They push me against lockers, grab my books and throw them about. They even torched my locker with all my books in. I tried opening it for some stupid reason and it burnt me on my hand here.” Justin moved so he could show Brian his small burn between his thumb and forefinger. Brian grabbed a hold of his hand and kissed the burn. Justin smiled up at him and continued to talk. “I'm sure one of them is gay though, he is always rubbing himself up against me, making it out that he's making fun of me and seeing if I'll get hard, but I swear I felt his boner against my leg the last time he did it.” Justin nuzzles his face closer into the crook of Brian's neck and lets out another loud sigh.
Brian holds him closer and buries his nose in Justin's hair and kisses his temple. “I'm sorry” Brian says just over a whisper.
“It’s fine, I’m used to it now. Plus, I don’t have much longer to go which is good and then hopefully it’s off to PIFA for me. Well, if my dad will pay my tuition or can get a scholarship…”
Brian was had his arms wrapped around Justin’s slender waist. “No… I. I mean. Fuck I hate this.” He looked down, scared of talking so freely with Justin. Why? He really liked this kid’s company and liked listening to him…which never happened! He needed to just get the fuck on with it and say it. “I… I meant that...” Fuck... he couldn't even believe he was about to apologise. Sorry is bullshit, right? But he wanted to apologise to Justin, he owed it to Justin after all he put the kid through. Somehow, he knew he wanted Justin in his life. He was kind of grateful that Justin hadn't just walked away and that Michael had bumped into him. It made him realise just how much he enjoyed just being with this amazing boy.
Justin looked up to see that Brian was struggling. He reached his hand to tip up Brian's head so he could see his favourite pair of hazel eyes. “It's okay Brian. Just say it. Whatever it is, its fine.” He didn't know where that came from but he could tell this was hard for Brian.
“I... I meant I’m sorry for tonight. I’m sorry I put you through all this shit, and made you keep hurting yourself and scratching your hands. I’m sorry that I kept making you cry and that I hurt you in so many ways. You’re so young, you didn’t need this. You don’t need this, need me. You could do so much better.” There was a pause” I… I’m just sorry.” Brian lowered his head again because he couldn’t bear to look into the eyes he had started to lo…really like.
Justin didn’t expect that. He took a minute to he could take in all that Brian had just told him. He felt relieved that Brian obviously had felt something to be able to apoloise but he also felt slightly angry at saying he was too young and didn’t need him. That Brian wasn’t worthy? What the hell. Didn’t this man understand he had fallen for him. Yes, they had only spent 2 days together and he had already been heartbroken so Justin might be making a mistake, who knows? Its life. But he just knows that being with this man, being held in his arms just feels so fucking right. Then he realised Brian was waiting there, probably freaking out that he hadn’t responded.
“Brian.” Justin placed the palm of his right hand against Brian’s chest. “Brian, look at me” Justin said in a calm voice. “Please”.
Brian finally looked up and Justin could see the tears that were waiting to fall. Brian tried not to but he had to blink and the tears fell. Justin wiped them away with his thumbs and held Brian’s face so their eyes connected. He was going to go on a big rant about why Brian was wrong and blah blah blah. But after the short time of getting to know Brian, Justin realised he doesn’t always take compliments well. It’s just his stubbornness. So, he decided to go with a short and sweet reply.
“I forgive you. And I want you. You deserve so much more than you think Brian. Just don’t hurt me again, please?” He then leaned in and softly but passionately kissed Brian’s lips. When he pulled away Brian looked at him.
At first Brian nodded but then he very quietly replied: “I can’t promise that I won’t fuck up, but I want you in my life and I will never push you away again or hurt you on purpose.” Then Brian leaned in for another kiss.
“That sounds fair enough. I will probably fuck up to. But you saying this…does that mean we’re together?” Justin saw the hesitance on Brian’s face. “I don’t want to push, I would just like to have a little bit more information… please.”
Brian thought about it for a while. He had never been with anyone before. “Let’s just say we have each other. Let’s promise that we’re here for each other. Is that okay?” Brian asked.
“Okay, but it would be so cool in the future that I could be able to call you my boyfriend. I mean look at you, your basically sex on legs.” Justin gave him chuckle and then one of his biggest sunshine smiles.
“Ha. Ha.” Brian said although you could see the smile he was trying to hide. As much as he hated labels, he didn’t mind Justin bringing up. He just seemed to change everything. “Speaking about sex…?” Brian chuckled sexily and pulled Justin in for a long and hard kiss. Justin moaned into his mouth while Brian held him close.
He wondered where this ‘thing’ was gonna go with Brian, but he felt happy right now and that’s all that mattered to him. Brian had promised him they had each other. That was enough for him to feel comfortable.