Justin had just finished off most of his fries and had taken one bite from his burger. Before it had been brought out he was famished, but as soon as he had started to eat it hurt his face and he just didn’t have the energy to finish it. Brian had noticed this but didn’t push him or make him eat. He was starting to get really worried about Justin. He had noticed when he came in that his face seemed different and he had a heavy looking gym bag with him. He had so many questions and was hoping to get some answers later that night.
“Hey, Brian. Can I talk to you quickly in private?” Michael asked as he nudged his best friends shoulder.
“Uh, sure Mikey.” Brian answered and then turned to Justin. “Do you mind if I just go and speak to Michael quickly?” Brian asked quietly. Normally he wouldn’t even bother asking as it wasn’t anyone else’s business, but he didn’t really want to leave Justin on his own.
“Yeah, of course.” Justin answered in just above a whisper. He didn’t want Brian to go for even a second but he didn’t have the right to control what he did. And he respected Michael for helping the other night.
Brian gave him a quick peck on the lips when they had slid out from the booth “I won’t be long, okay?” Brian said, not caring what anyone thought and went towards the back of the diner, near the kitchen to see what Mikey wanted.
Justin sat back down and kept his eyes on his plate. He went to rub his hands but then felt the bandages and so started itching his legs.
“What’s up Mikey?” Brian asked while keeping an eye on Justin, noticing him fidgeting.
“What’s happened to Justin?” Michael asked as he took a quick a look at Justin as well.
“So, you’ve noticed as well?” Brian asked, feeling even more worried than before.
“How could I not Brian, look at him. His face looks different somehow, but I can’t pinpoint exactly what. And, what are with those bandages?” Michael asks Brian, but then, he saw pure worry on his best friend’s face. He had only ever seen a slight glimpse of that look when Brian had to go back to his own home after staying round his with his Ma, and even then, he would try to cover it up. But this… this was pure worry and almost showed too easily how much Brian cared for Justin. Maybe even loved? That’s when Michael knew Brian was finally letting himself feel and he couldn’t have been any prouder of him. And he made a silent promise to Brian then and there that he will always be by his side whenever Brian needed him.
“You know what Brian, I’ll grab Justin some lemon bars, and you go and take him to the Jeep and take him home with you. I’ll be out in 2 mins.” Michael rubs Brian’s arm for comfort.
Brian just nods at him and kisses him before he moves away to get the lemon bars.
Justin notices Brian’s return so stops itching his legs and goes to slide into the booth so Brian can sit down again.
“You ready to go Justin?” Brian looks down at Justin.
“Where?” Justin suddenly feels a rush of panic as he thinks Brian and Michael might try to take him back to his parents’ house again…not that he’d be welcome obviously.
“To the loft?” Brian answers in confusion. Where else would they go?
“Oh, yeah. Sure” Justin replied and grabbed his gym bag out from under the table, wincing in pain as it hits his side.
The wince doesn’t go unnoticed by Brian, so he grabs the bag and then takes Justin’s hand in his. Although it’s hard to grasp because of the bandage.
“Bye baby, get better.” Emmett calls out as they start towards the door.
“Here, Justin. Have some Lemon bars. On the house.” Michael hands the small container to Justin.
Justin reaches out for the offering from Michael with a small smile. “Thanks”
Brian gives a small nod to Michael and then they’re out the door and walking towards the Jeep.
Whilst in the car ride home, Justin is looking out the window and keeping quiet. Although Brian is trying to talk to him, he just feels completely out of it. Thinking about what has just happened to him and how his life is going to change from this day on. It actually made him feel quite queasy.
Brian tried to make small talk, which is something he has never done before, but he wanted Justin to talk to him. After a couple of tries though he decided he would just wait until they were back at the loft.
Brian had unlocked the door and just slid it open when suddenly Justin walked past, shoved his gym bag down on the floor and almost ran to the bathroom. Brian was in shock that he didn’t move for a couple of seconds until he realised something was wrong.
“Justin?” Brian walked towards the bathroom, but the door was shut and locked. He was about to walk away and just wait for Justin to come out when suddenly he heard Justin throw up.
“Justin? What’s going on?” Brian tried the door again but nothing.
“Do you need anything?” He hated being this worried about someone and not being able to do anything about it.
“I..I’m fine. It must have been the food at the Diner.” Justin lied. He felt sick to his stomach from what his life was turning into.
Brian didn’t respond. He knew that was probably a lie as although he jokes about the food at the diner not being the best, he’s never heard of it to make someone sick before. He decided to walk into the kitchen to get Justin some water and wait for him to come out of the bathroom.
Justin was sitting by the toilet with his head close by incase he needed to throw up again. He felt the worst he had ever felt, and he just wanted nothing more than to make time rewind to the time before he went home.
He couldn’t stop himself from crying at what his life had become. Why him? He did nothing wrong…right?
After several minutes went by, he finally felt better. He got up, flushed the toilet and threw some water over his face to freshen up. But once he faced himself in the mirror, he had realised that messed up the light makeup he had put on to cover the bruises. The closer he looked into the mirror, the more he could tell his eye was puffing up. SHIT! He grabbed the small amount of makeup, that luckily, he had put in his jean pocket, and touched up his face. It wasn’t great, but it was better. He caught his breath and went to shake his body to get ready to face Brian again, but realised he was still in too much pain to even do that.
He took one more big breath and then opened the door.
It had been almost 10 minutes since Justin had gone into the bathroom. Brian hated feeling like this. So worried about what was going on with Justin. He was pacing about near the sofas when he noticed Justin’s gym bag lying on the floor by the door. He remembered that earlier on in the night he thought it must have been overnight stuff Justin was going to take to Daphne’s or even for the loft, but just then he realised it was awfully big for just a night stay of clothes or toiletries. He decides to walk over to it and pick it up to see if there might be anything Justin could change into. “Fucking hell, what the fuck is in this thing?” Brian muttered to himself as he struggled lifting it. He took it up to the bedroom and placed it on the bed, he was just about to open it when he heard the bathroom door unlock.
“What are you doing with my bag?” Justin asks Brian with worry in his voice.
“I just noticed it was still on the floor by the front door, so I brought it in here for you. Was just gonna get you some sweats to change into. It’s fucking heavy by the way… You okay?” Brian asked after a pause.
“Yeah. A lot better now. Never been sick from the diner food before…ha..” Justin tried making a small joke to make the situation less awkward.
“Are you sure it was the food? I’ve never seen anyone get sick from the food there.” Brian sat down on the bed and just stared at Justin. Something was not right, and he wanted to know what. He also noticed his face still looked different, almost patchy and puffy. Maybe allergies? He remembered him going on about being allergic to basically everything. So maybe it was something in the food… no. It was probably from throwing up that made him look patchy and puffy.
"Well there’s always a first for everything. And that burger didn’t taste right anways so it must be that.” Justin said in almost self-defense.
“Okay, just making sure. I got you some water.” Brian said as he walked towards the kitchen where he left the water bottle on the kitchen side.
“Thanks.” Justin replied. He then moved towards his bag on the bed and quickly rummaged through it to get his sweat pants and a t-shift for tonight and then zipped the bag up and placed it at the end of the bed before Brian came back, which was difficult seeing as his hands were still bandaged up.
However, that didn’t go unnoticed by Brian. “Here” Brian handed the water to Justin.
“Thanks.” Justin reached for the water but jumped when Brian took ahold of his hand and wouldn’t let go. “Ouch, what are you doing?”
“What the fuck happened?” Brian looked down at Justin’s bandaged hands. “You told me you weren’t going to do this anymore. And this is the worst they’ve been!” Brian was angry. But not at Justin… He was angry that Justin still felt the need to do this to himself in order to deal with things.
“My anxiety got bad and I just got carried away and I didn’t realise. I’m sorry.” Justin lied. He looked down at his hands and felt tears in his eyes. He wanted to tell Brian so badly about what had happened, but he wasn’t going to bring all this shit onto him. They had just gotten over a huge fight and Brian allowed him to stay in his life. If he found out what had just happened, maybe he would feel responsible to house Justin and it would stress him out and he didn’t want that for Brian.
“What caused your anxiety though? Something bad must have happened for you to do it this badly.” Brian walked Justin over to the kitchen, and to the sink. Justin knew what was coming and he hated it. Brian was about to undo the bandages and see how badly his hands were going to look and there were probably going to be more questions. Fuck.
“Nothing really, sometimes it just comes.” He lied again.
Brian looks at him and he knows Justin is lying. But he doesn’t understand why. He takes Justin’s left hand first and starts to unravel the bandage. With each layer going the colour red gets deeper and deeper. His hands are red raw and still very bloody. Brian actually has to look away for a minute to keep himself together. How could he do this to himself?
Justin notices the look on Brian’s face as he looks away and how difficult it is for him to see his hands like this. Fuck.
“You don’t have to do this Bri…” Justin says as he goes to take his hand away, but Brian stops him.
“No, I don’t have to… but I want to, and I’m going to.” Brian looks at Justin before cleaning his hand and then bandaging it up again. He repeats the same process with Justin’s right hand thankfully isn’t as bad.
Brian leans in slowly and kisses Justin gently. “Now tell me. Why?” He goes to pull Justin in by the waist but sees Justin dodge his touch and move away.
“I told you why. Now I’m going to bed.” Justin snaps and walks towards the bedroom. Brian follows him. He was getting annoyed at why Justin was being this way, acting like nothing was wrong when there obviously was. That’s when he decided to take a different approach, and act like nothing was wrong, to see if Justin would still go along with it or finally tell him. He wasn’t giving up on his boy, not yet.
He sees Justin pick up his comfy clothes and goes to walk into the bathroom.
“You taking a shower? I’ll join.” Brian smirks at him to see if he’ll get a reaction.
“No, I’m not. I’m going to clean my teeth and change and then go to sleep.”
Brian walks towards him before he makes it to the bathroom. “Why? We can take a nice long, hot shower and then maybe have a nice long, hot fuck before bed. Hmm?” Brian sticks his tongue in his cheek and goes to grab Justin again.
But, Justin dodges his touch again and walks away from Brian which means away from the bathroom as he’s blocking it. “No, Brian. I’m tired and I just want to go to sleep.” Justin starts to get irritated. He knew Brian would probably want to fuck or something, but he couldn’t with all the bruises he had and the pain he was in.
“Fine. But why have clothes? You’ve slept naked so far, why stop now? If we’re not going to fuck, at least let me see your ass.” Brian tried to joke and flirt to ease it.
“Because I’m cold Brian. Okay? I don’t want to sleep naked tonight and you’ve seen it plenty of times, so you can go one night without it!” Justin’s voice started to get louder.
“What’s got your fucking panties in a twist tonight sunshine?” Brian almost shouted back.
Justin walked towards the side of the bed he slept on, which was the opposite side from the bathroom and just started to pace around.
“I’m tired Brian okay! We can fuck another time!” Justin shouted back.
“No! Something happened to you tonight and you won’t tell me why, which means I can’t help you and that fucking means it won’t get sorted! So, tell me what the fuck is wrong with you!” Brian was losing his patience. He walked towards where Justin was, but Justin walked around him to try and get to the bathroom.
“Just leave it Brian.” Justin said quietly.
Brian went around to block his way to the bathroom.
Brian faced Justin, stopping the boy from getting any further. He stared at him waiting for the boy to say something, but yet again…nothing. He threw his hands up out of frustration and groaned out of anger. However, as he did this, Justin dropped his clothes and covered his face in defense. The way Brian flew his hands up reminded him of what happened back at his house. He stepped back which caused him to trip over his gym bag and threw his balance off and he fell to the ground quite hardly. He screamed out in pain as all the bruising on this body was still so tender and his ribs were in pretty bad shape.
“JUSTIN!” Brian rushed over and kneeled beside Justin.
Justin was crying out in pain and Brian didn’t know why. He noticed Justin holding his stomach and went to pull up his top. But Justin stopped him.
“Stop fighting me Justin, I’m trying to help you. What the hell happened? Why did you do that? Did you think I was going to hit you?” Brian asked all the questions at once, freaking out about what was happening.
“Just stop Brian” Justin cried out again. He felt to weak and defeated.
“No!” Brian replied gently and fought Justin, so he could lift his top. He was finally able to move Justin’s arms out of the way and what he saw next was just too much.
Bruises, cuts, scratches. Everywhere on his beautiful boy’s body. What had happened to him? Brian ran into the bathroom and threw up from the impact of what he had realised.
He was leaning over the toilet, trying to get himself back together. He was livid. Who could have done this to Justin? He decided to get up get himself together. He flushed the toilet, washed his mouth out and splashed his face with water. As he turned to walk out of the bathroom, Justin was just walking in. He could see how much pain his boy was in and it hurt himself in so many ways.
“Brian, I…” Justin went to say but got stopped by Brian, who just shook his head and reached out slowly for Justin to come towards him.
Brian kissed Justin softly and then started to strip him slowly. Justin let it happen this time because he knew Brian needed some control back.
Once Brian had stripped Justin completely he stripped himself. He walked over to the shower and turned it on to a manageable heat for Justin’s extremely sensitive skin. He walked Justin into the shower and flinched when he heard Justin’s hiss of pain from the water. He went to turn it down but Justin stopped him, he was just getting used to the contact of the water onto his body. He stood in front of Justin and kissed him again. He then pulled away and just looked at him, and then his body. He kneeled and kissed almost every bruise lightly. There were so many. He stood back up and noticed the makeup Justin had been wearing was washing away and saw the bruise on his eye and the slightly smaller one on the bridge of his noise, and then the one by his lip. He had to look away again. He couldn’t stop the tears from coming, but hoped it would just look like the shower spray.
Justin pulled Brian’s face towards him and kissed him back. He wiped away the tears from Brian’s eyes and they just held each other. Both shaking from sobbing and the pain they both felt. Physically and mentally.
Once they had washed slowly and softly, Brian helped Justin into bed and got in beside him. He let Justin cuddle up into his side.
“It was your dad wasn’t it?” Brian asked softly, after several minutes of silence.
“Yes” Justin answered quietly.