HOW DID YOU GET HERE?
Shit! What a night already... and it's not even near over. I called David and told him what happened. He was sympathetic to Justin, which I loved but critical of Brian- a fact that I hate. I'll admit that I tried to stop him from going into that fucking toddler and twink fest but he wouldn't listen.
"Are you fucking crazy, Brian?"
"I must be, Mikey, because I'm going in there if for no other reason than to make a bunch of heteros piss their pants at watching two fabulous fags dance."
"What kind of guilt trip did that fucking kid lay on you? You know there's going to be trouble, Brian."
"I swear, Michael, sometimes talking to you is like having a conversation with Ted...or fucking David for that matter- all prudish and etiquette bullshit. What kind of trouble could he and I get into? It's not like this is Babylon so we'll keep it clean."
He left me standing there in front of the entrance. I debated with myself, whether to stay or leave. I mean, I had done what I'd gone there to do which was talk some sense into Brian. But my curiosity got the best of me. Justin was about to receive a gift, one Brian and I never even dared go after for ourselves.
He was about to dance with the person he'd wanted to dance with at one of the most important events of his life. The fact that it was Brian Kinney- well that would just be the icing on his cake. I'll admit that I was jealous watching them glide and turn over the ballroom floor as if they owned it. And in a way, they did. No one else danced as they did, no one moved as they did. I glimpsed several faces as Brian and Justin took to the floor.
Most were smiling and mesmerized like Justin's fag hag Daphne, some were envious and even jealous while looking on but there was one filled with... hate and jealousy. I wondered what that was about at the time and God how I wish I didn't know what it was about now. After the dance ended and Brian kissed Justin in front of the entire senior class of Saint James Academy, I followed them out to the parking garage. They were laughing and smiling; goofing around and dancing. I had never seen Brian act like that and it was all due to that kid. He never smiled at me like that.
He actually looked genuinely...happy. The hazel eyes I'd loved for more than half my life sparkled as did the blue ones of Justin. They practically glowed and Justin looked to be vibrating with excitement. I know the kid had a tough year so to see him like that and to know Brian was the cause of it gave me a look into their relationship that no one had ever seen- that no one could see. It was brief and short-lived but it was there.
When they disappeared on the driver's side of the jeep, I turned to go back to my own car. I had a plane to catch; David was waiting for me. And that's when it happened... when I heard the crash of what I now know to be a wooden bat hit the concrete floor- the thump of the crumbling and unconscious twink; the voice of my best friend pleading and praying for Justin to wake up. I ran back as fast as I could and the scene that greeted me... Oh God, there was so much blood, the white silk scarf Brian had given Justin was covered in it. I watched as Brian gently took it from around the boy's neck and apply it to the head wound as he stretched his legs underneath Justin's head.
Fumbling with my phone, I dialed 911 hoping just like Brian that help would be forthcoming. Honestly from what I knew about bashings and crimes against gays in the past, I was doubtful but ultimately relieved when I saw the ambulance pulling into the parking garage moments later. I guess being from the Country Club set has its priviledges. I told Brian that I would see Daphne home and call everyone, which I did after getting over my own shock. Daphne wanted to come to the hospital but her parents wanted her home first.
I guess they needed to hear the first hand account of what had happened- well as much as she could give anyway. By the time I arrived at the hospital, Justin was already in surgery and Brian was sitting outside the doors... alone. I'd very rarely ever seen Brian cry and never over a trick. I guess that was the moment I realized that Justin Taylor was more than we all thought, more than the trick who wouldn't go home and certainly more to Brian than we ever thought he could or should be. If the situation wasn't so serious, I would probably laugh and tease him about the fact that the man who doesn't- or didn't rather- believe in love or relationships was well and truly caught in the twink's snare.
As for me, I still can't believe what's happened, that just a bit ago I saw Brian and Justin happy and smiling... that now I'm sitting here consoling Brian as best I could which really isn't much. He hasn't spoken yet and I'm worried about what it could mean. Usually if Brian is blowing up at you, all is right in Brian's world but he's quiet. Too quiet. I wish I could have talked him out of going in there; that he would have listened to me but I know now it was something he needed to do for himself.
Something he needed to do for Justin.
Part of me really wants to blame Justin for what happened to him but I know I can't. He was no more responsible than Brian was for Chris Hobbs grabbing a bat and fucking bashing his brains in. And yet all I can do is be outraged on Brian's behalf. I know he's going to catch shit for this and that he'll self-medicate as he always does. If Justin dies... NO! I won't think of that because Brian definitely won't survive that outcome.
I can't fucking sit still; I don't know how Brian is managing to do so. He's as still as a fucking statue and as white as a ghost yet all I can do is pray right now. I can only go by what Michael told me which was brief and short- which when you think of it was a miracle because Michael usually rambles about the serious or upsetting things in life and this falls into both of those categories. But I'm worried about Justin AND Brian. He hasn't said a word, just keeps watching the door. I've never seen him look so forlorn or full of despair. He's usually so larger than life and take charge that it's disconcerting to see him so out of his depth like this. Except for the tear tracks leaving salt marks on his handsome visage, he's stoic and resolute as if he's expecting the worse possible outcome to be announced at any moment. For a man who is used to living in the solution and not the problem, his innate stillness is causing me great concern.
Not many know it but Justin and I have grown pretty close over the last few months he's become one of us. He and I have a lot in common between daddies who abandoned us and being bullied for who we are. It gave me a sense of pride that when Justin couldn't talk to Brian, he could talk to me. I understood him in so many more ways than the rest ever could. What's funny is that he is a mixture of both Brian and I in terms of personality. He can be sympathetic but he can also be ruthless. I think I'm the only one of the entire group who knows how and why Brian was able to retain his job at Ryder. Justin told me what he did regarding Kip Thomas and made me promise not to tell a soul. I in turn told him that I would keep his secret and it's a vow I will never betray. It proved two things I have suspected since the night he stood up to his father: Justin Taylor is a survivor and he loves Brian Kinney with all his sweet heart. What is most surprising is that based on Brian's actions over these past nine months and even now as we sit and wait, is that the feeling is mutual. Yeah, Brian might fight like hell to keep it under wraps but I know that he loves Justin in a way he has never loved Michael or Lindsey and never will.
God, hey it's me Emmett Maurice Honeycutt. I know I haven't talked to You everyday or as much as I should have and I may not have any right to do so now. But please let Baby make it out of this. He deserves a life, a chance to live his life. He's suffered so much more than anyone knows except You and me. Make this alright for him... and for Brian. Amen.
Okay. So I admit it. I wasn't a Brian and Justin fan in the beginning. I thought Brian was playing with fire; that he was twisting the innocence of the young twink and using him as a back-up plan and the kid was too dumb and desperate to see or know that. I'm not too big or too blind to admit that I was wrong. Over the last months I've seen the tenacious twink take down Brian's walls little by little and bit by bit; he made the most unfeeling man I've ever met care. I would never have believed it except that I'm sitting here witnessing the evidence of that caring. I mean, Brian Kinney went to the boy's prom for God's sake. He took him in, gave him a place to stay and to watch their interaction when they think no one's looking, there's no way this has just been about sex. I don't think I've ever witnessed Brian so protective as I did that night outside Woody's when Justin outed the football jock who is the cause of all this. Or as jealous as when Justin won the ‘King of Babylon' contest a few weeks ago. Or as possessive as when someone other than him, touches Justin even for an innocent hug. It's like Justin calls up every instinct Brian has managed to keep hidden from the rest of us mere mortals- even Michael and Lindsey.
I keep hoping for all our sakes, but especially Brian and Justin's, that this is some collective nightmare which we'll all wake up from soon. First Blake's defection and now Justin's bashing, there just seems to be no shortage of bad news tonight. I know that as soon as word comes, Brian will be back to his old pain management techniques and that is most certainly not good. If Justin doesn't pull through this, there will be no saving him. I remember what it was like when I woke up from my coma. After I'd gotten out of the hospital, Brian had asked why I made him my power of attorney and medical proxy. I told him because he was a heartless shit and that he could pull the plug and wouldn't cry; that he would know when it was time to go. What will happen to him if he has to make those same decisions regarding Justin? I shudder to think what it will do to him.
He hasn't taken his eyes off that door, refusing food and drink as he sits and waits. I wonder if he's praying or compartmentalizing what may be expected of him. I wonder if he's bargaining with a God he doesn't wholeheartedly believe in for his lover's life. Yeah...Justin is his lover no matter how much Brian tries to deny to the contrary. Sometimes, I think Justin is the only one who does or could love Brian Kinney. Is that harsh to say in a moment like this? Probably but it doesn't make it any less true. Brian is a hard man and it takes an equally driven man to get through to him. Justin Taylor has been that man since night one. Emmett and I have talked about it. Michael and Lindsey refuse to see or acknowledge it. Deb and Vic, I believe, sees it and Melanie abhors the idea of it but it's obvious to those of us on the outside looking in- or those of us without scales on our eyes anyway. I know that Brian didn't approve of me and Blake but he was willing to keep his opinions to himself and allow me to live my own life as I saw fit. He didn't verbally judge my choice or chasten me as Michael and Emmett did regardless of their intentions. In this moment, I may not have agreed with Brian going into Justin's prom and may not have agreed with the relationship as a whole, but I'm proud to say I gave him the same courtesy especially now. And no matter the outcome of this, I'm relieved to know that he knew love in its purest form because whether I like Brian most days or not, he deserved it.
How did you get here?
Nobody's supposed to be here
I've tried that love thing for the last time
My heart said No no nobody's supposed to be here
But you came along and changed my mind*
There's quite a lot to be said right now but I... I just can't. Everyone keeps asking me what happened but I can't bring myself to speak of it. If I do, it will make this seem all too real. Which it is. But I don't want it to be. I never should have left him; never should have been there. I...I...I... I keep wondering how I came to care so much, how I came to want to make him happy, why I had to see that smile tonight that has brightened my days even when I didn't want it to- the smile that bathed my usually dark world in its brightness, the one that I've seen in the best of my dreams and now will be ingrained in my nightmares. Fuck! Why did I just have to see it?
When he first asked if I would go to this stupid prom with him, my answer was quick, efficient and a resounding ‘no.' I thought his brand of insanity was somehow hereditary and he was only just now showing signs of being crazy. But that's Justin- daring. Bold. Courageous to the point of being reckless; me in little blond boy twink form. Last night while we laid in bed, he told me all about his and Daphne's plans for tonight. He was so animated and vibrant with the biggest smile on his face and high on life. He said again that he wished he could take me but that he understood why I said no even if it hurt; that he loved that I was trying to protect him. Hmpf... some fucking job I did of that. It's because of me that he's in there fighting for his life and I'm sitting here covered in his blood. That asshole, Chris, who Justin always thought of as a closet case bashed him with a baseball bat as I ran to try to stop the madness from happening but I was too fucking late. Luckily, Mikey hadn't gone far after I went inside to dance with Justin, otherwise I don't know what I would have done. I'm already a bowl of jello inside waiting and willing him to wake the fuck up. The doctors haven't come out to speak to me yet. I'm not even sure they will although I'm down on record as his partner, a fact that none of the family knows other than Ted and Jennifer. It was the only way I could add him to my insurance until Jennifer was able to get her own separate from Craig and reclaim him as a dependent. Once he turned eighteen, Craig decided that if Justin wanted to live as a man, a gay man, then he should do so without his help or acknowledgment at all. So he got Melanie to file emancipation documents for him since he was still in school. Those papers freed his parents of any obligation towards him. The fact that Justin decided he was not going to Dartmouth made the transition easier to sever all ties with Craig.
I keep trying to figure out how I got to this point. I want to say that there is no exact time and space when I started to care but the truth is I think it started the night after we fucked for the first time. He had come to the Loft just wanting to ‘talk.' I was trying to kick get his little tenacious ass to leave before my trick arrived. Mr. Good Fuck arrived while we were arguing and I finally made him leave. But then the strangest thing happened... the older trick was sticking up for the younger trick. Go fucking figure that one but anyway I told Justin that I didn't believe in love, I believed in fucking and gave him the whole speech then told him that if a relationship was what he wanted then to find a nice girl and to get married. He said he wanted me and I'll be damned because I wanted him too but I wasn't going to fucking admit it. He was too young for me- well at least that's the reason I gave. The truth of it is something I would never admit to anyone aloud... not even Justin. I tried to stay away from him, I really did but that first night at Babylon when he took my tricks and I took him home again, I knew I was fucked. I had broken my own rule: Never the same trick more than once. That was technically the third time, if one was inclined to count the best shower fuck I'd had in more than a decade. While I'm sitting here waiting for fucking news that I want but don't really want at the same time, I want nothing more than to be able to tell him that; want nothing more than for him to hear it and nothing more than to see the look in those blue, blue eyes looking at me again. Fuck! I hate waiting but that's all that's left to do right now.
So I placed my heart under lock and key
To take some time, and take care of me
But I turn around and you're standing here*
All the fucking memories keep assailing me. The night we met and Gus' birth; our first shower fuck; the night after we met; him stealing my two tricks and then making me want him the first night he stepped foot into Babylon; the first of many times at Deb's; our hotel room fuck in New York; the conversations we've had that had nothing to do with sex; his reaction to me possibly leaving- all these fucking representations and more keep replaying in my mind giving me the clearest pictures of what he's added to my life thus far. It can't be over... it just can't fucking be over. Our story isn't finished; we aren't done.
Fuck! Wake up, Sunshine. Please, please, PLEASE wake up!