Chapter 10 - URI
Justin sat in his apartment, alone for the first time since Brian had found him there after their night of dancing two days before. Two days filled with Brian Kinney. Two nights filled with the sensual feast of making love with his angel. It had been everything Justin had ever dreamed of and more.
Ever since Brian had dropped him back at the club then hurried off to a meeting with Ted, Justin had been staring at the picture of his Angel. His fingers played with the tattered edges of the worn photo. He was totally amazed that he had actually found his Angel. That Brian had turned out to be everything he could have ever dreamed of - hot, sexy, beautiful, kind and the best lover Justin had ever had - was incredible. All those months ago when he was struggling just to survive day by day, he had often looked at that photo and fantasized about what the man behind the picture would be like. Justin smiled to himself, thinking that he’d never even come close to the amazing reality that was Brian Kinney. He’d only known the man for about two weeks and he was already hopelessly in love.
The only problem now was that Justin still hadn’t found a way to tell Brian the truth about why he had come to Pittsburgh. Every time he’d tried to explain it just seemed too difficult. He didn’t seem able to find the right words and then the timing always seemed off.
In the beginning it had seemed simply too embarrassing - Justin didn’t want to seem like some sappy sentimental type who needed roses and serenades. He knew instinctively that was NOT the type of man that would interest Brian Kinney. Besides, that wasn’t really Justin either. Justin wasn’t the type of guy who needed all the romantic trimmings and trappings. Normally, he wouldn’t be the kind of person who would get caught up in some impossible fantasy about somebody he didn’t even know and, at the time, had little chance of ever meeting. But somehow it had happened and he’d ended up searching halfway across the country until he found the man in the photo. How the fuck was he supposed to tell Brian about all that and not come off like some simpering little fairy.
Now that he and Brian had become so close, it seemed even tougher to find a way to tell Brian. It felt like he’d waited too long. If he disclosed everything about the photo at this point, after they’d fucked, Justin thought it would be far too awkward. If he was going to tell Brian about the photo, he should have done it right away, when they first met. If he told Brian now, it might seem like Justin had been hiding something or lying by omission. Justin himself felt like his failure to immediately disclose to Brian all about the picture and why he’d shown up in Pittsburgh was inherently deceptive. Opening up now, AFTER they’d slept together, was only going to engender a sense of distrust in their newly fledged relationship. Justin was already too invested in this . . . whatever it was they had. It might kill him if Brian were to pull away from him now.
Finally, there was also Brian’s feelings to consider. The very little Brian had divulged about his brother Ben had made a real impact on Justin. He could tell how much Brian had loved and relied on his now lost brother. Brian was still so broken up over the loss of Ben that Justin couldn’t bear to make it any worse by talking about his own battle experiences and possibly reminding his lover even more about his brother’s traumatic and unexplained death. Since Brian seemed reluctant to talk about Ben, Justin would have to respect that and not press him for more, at least for now.
The image of Brian on the photo that had pulled Justin through so many times while he was overseas was still in his hand. He’d carried that picture so far, it was like an old friend. It seemed to encompass so many meanings and shades of meanings, wishes, hopes, dreams, fantasies and emotions that Justin was almost afraid to be separated from it even for a moment. But maybe he’d been relying on those hopes and fantasies too much? As comforting as the picture was, it was also a crutch of sorts. Justin thought that maybe, now that he seemed to have the reality of Brian, it might be time to relinquish the fantasy.
With a lot of trepidation but even more determination, Justin finally decided it was time. Getting up off his bed, he walked solemnly across the bare wood floor of his tiny apartment and picked up his sketchbook from the small used bookcase he’d stashed in the corner. He flipped through the well worn book until he came to the next to last drawing. It was the one he’d done of Brian early this morning while his lover was still sleeping. Brian looked so peaceful and serene in his sleep. With a sigh, Justin squared his shoulders and purposefully slid the photo into the top binding where it would stay secure and then closed up the book and put it back on the shelf where it belonged.
The time to tell Brian about the photo and Justin’s journey to find his guardian angel had passed. Justin would rather keep what he had now rather than risk it by revealing what was probably an irrelevant minor detail. Maybe there would be a time in the future when Justin would feel comfortable enough to tell his full story to Brian. In the meantime, it was time to leave the photo of his angel behind and focus on the real thing.
Brian had just gotten home after ANOTHER meeting with Ted and the contractors about the ongoing plumbing issues at Babylon. Brian was annoyed that he was again being pulled into this petty day-to-day stuff. Ted should have been able to handle all this crap - pun intended - without Brian having to get involved. Brian was starting to suspect that his friend and financial advisor was trying to keep him in the loop solely for the purposes of letting the Boss think he was still important to the business. Either that, or Ted missed seeing his handsome face all the time.
Whatever. The impending doom of the exploding johns had now been averted, and Brian was finally free to return home to the peace of Britin to try and catch up on the sleep he’d missed the past couple of days. That little whirling dervish of a blond could fuck like the energizer bunny on supercharged batteries. The boy never seemed to stop, not even to take a breath, and he had one tight ass on him which just kept on giving and giving and giving . . . Brian had got very little sleep while his blond had been visiting - not that he was complaining, mind you. But Brian was looking forward to a little down time in the sack, alone.
Unfortunately, as he pulled up to the garage Brian realized that he wasn’t about to get any peace or quiet any time soon. A disapproving looking Lindsey Peterson was waiting for him on the front porch, a pinched look on her WASPish face and her eyes already flashing with a determination to find fault with him. Brian sighed as he put his Jeep into park and got out of the car. The last thing he wanted this morning was another confrontation with Lindsey, but it didn’t look like he had a choice.
“Lindsey, to what do I owe this dubious pleasure,” Brian drawled as he sauntered up the walkway towards the porch and the waiting apocalypse.
“Morning, Brian,” Lindsey lisped in a saccharine sweet voice that didn’t deceive Brian even a tiny bit. “Just coming in from ANOTHER sleepover, Bri? You’re getting a little old for that, don’t you think?”
“Not that it’s any of your business, Lindz, but I was up at 6:30 this morning. I’ve already been to a business meeting at Babylon and I’m back before 10:00. And, before you make any other unadvised comments, I slept here last night and had breakfast with Gus before I left and then Debbie took him to his swimming lessons at the community center. So, you can’t accuse me of neglecting our son. Do you have any other criticisms for me this fine morning or can I say goodbye and watch you drive off into the blinding sun.”
“Really, Brian . . . at least I’ll go off into the sun and not the burning fires of hell,” Lindsey’s hand fluttered up to her bosom in an obviously contrived affectation. “I’m sorry, Brian. That comment was uncalled for. I didn’t come here to argue with you, but do you always have to be so negative?”
“I’m not negative. I’m a realist. And I don’t think you’re here for a mere social call. So, whatever it is, out with it. Let’s get this over with. I’ve got better things to do than listen to you harp on me about everything that’s wrong in your world,” Brian was clearly fed up with Lindsey before she even began speaking, which put the woman on the offensive even more so than she’d planned.
“Fine. If you want to be so blunt about things,” Lindsey sniped, her lips thin with reproach. “I wanted to talk to you about our existing custody arrangement with Gus. I know that, after Mel and I broke up, we all agreed that Gus was better off staying here with you. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still care about my son. I was just such a mess back then. I needed to get away and get my head on straight. But now I’m back and I think it would be best for Gus if we started to act more like a family. I’d like to start spending more time here with Gus and you. I don’t appreciate how you treat me like some stranger who needs to get permission to spend time with my son. It’s not right and I’m sure it’s confusing to Gus.”
“Lindsey, the only thing confusing to Gus is the way you keep popping up whenever you feel the need to interfere and then disappear again whenever playing mommy is inconvenient for you,” Brian spat - this much bullshit from Lindsey far exceeding his recommended tolerance level for the entire day - as he tried to shoulder past the woman and get inside his house.
“Brian, be reasonable,” Lindsey refused to take the bait this time, intent on pursuing her agenda and not getting distracted by another silly argument. Lindsey grabbed Brian’s arm, her grip remarkably strong for such a delicate looking woman, and refused to let the man get past her. “All I’m proposing is that we start doing more things together, the two of us and Gus, like a normal family would. Instead of ‘my time’ with him and then ‘your time’ - handing Gus off in between like a football - we should just have family time. We could have dinner together as a family a few times a week, maybe go to museums or other stuff on the weekends, and I could even watch him during the day instead of Debbie.”
“Like a NORMAL family, hmmm?” Brian smiled condescendingly down at his old friend who was quickly becoming more of an enemy. “So, what . . . I’d be the butch, strong, supportive father and you’d be the doting mother and we’d all live together in some Leave It To Beaver-like hetero heaven? Is that how you see us, Lindz?”
“Well . . . what’s wrong with Gus having a normal family life . . .”
“What’s wrong is that that’s NOT us, Lindsey. We’re not a NORMAL family. In case you forgot, I’m gay. You’re a lesbian. We’re not happily married and never will be. And I for one don’t want to pretend to be something I’m not. How the fuck would that be good for Gus? You want to teach him to hide who he really is? Fuck you if you think I would ever agree to that kind of shit, Lindz.” Brian was beyond incensed by this point, glaring down his nose at the mother of his son and all her happy-family fantasies.
Lindsey had a stubborn set to her jaw now, her golden brown eyes glittering with anger at the prospect of being lectured by Brian. Brian shook his head, knowing that this entire discussion was useless. Lindsey had her mind made up and there would be no reasoning with her. Brian decided retreat was the only wise choice for him at this point. Using his free hand, he stripped her hand from it’s grip on his biceps and turned abruptly, heading back to his car instead of attempting to get around the irate woman blocking access to his home.
“You know, Lindsey, you do whatever you want, but don’t include me or Gus in your happy-hetero family plans,” Brian hollered over his shoulder as he strode away. “And don’t let me catch you spouting any of that crap around Gus, either. He doesn’t need you telling him that he isn’t 'normal' just because his daddy prefers dick and doesn’t want to fuck his mommy.”
“Fuck you, Brian,” Lindz yelled after the retreating back. “You have no right to keep me away from my son. And I’m getting sick and tired of all your insinuations that I’m not a good mother just because I took some time off to pursue my art career. If this is the way you want to play it, fine. You know as well as I do that if I really pushed things, I could get sole custody of Gus in a heartbeat. Nobody in their right mind would give an over-the-hill club boy like you custody of an eight year old boy. Especially if I got my father and all his cronies involved. How’d you like that, Brian?”
“Oh yeah? Well, come back and talk to me when you’ve got a job and a way to support your son,” Brian scoffed disdainfully. “You’re well on your way to forty, Lindsey - do you plan on having your Daddy support you for the rest of your life? You’ve got no job, you threw away your relationship with Mel, abandoned your son and now that you finally realized you’ll never be another Picasso, you have the balls to come crawling home and think you’re entitled to just pick up where you left off? Grow the fuck up! And, by the way, I don’t appreciate you threatening me. If you think that’s likely to get me to give you more contact with Gus, you’re even crazier than I thought.”
“Oh, and you’re the perfect father, huh, Brian? Yeah, I don’t buy that for a fucking second. We’ll just see who the court finds to be a better parent. Once they find out about you bringing your tricks here when Gus is around, I don’t think you’ll be prancing around all high and mighty,” Lindsey’s last dig brought Brian to an immediate halt just as he was about to get into his car.
“What the fuck are you talking about, Lindsey?” Brian turned back to face the tall blonde, truly confused by the woman’s accusations. “You know I would never trick around Gus.”
“Then, what do you call that blond slut that keeps showing up here every other day? Hmmmm?” Lindsey showed her claws way too readily, tipping her hand to Brian’s better people-reading skills and letting him know that there was lots more shit coming his way.
“Justin isn’t a ‘trick’. He’s an employee . . . and a friend,” Brian found himself adding the last part of that sentence before he even thought about it.
“I thought you didn’t fuck your friends,” Lindsey added in her most catty voice.
“Who I fuck, or don’t fuck, is none of your business, Lindsey,” Brian replied, his tone colder than she’d ever heard before.
“I think I have a right to know just what type of people you’re exposing my son to, Brian,” Lindsey’s calm, polished exterior had completely crumbled by this point, leaving her looking hard and angry and just plain spitefull. “And I think a judge would find it just as interesting as I do. You just think about that, Brian Kinney.”
Brian stood next to his car, shaking with anger, as a gloating Lindsey strutted past him and got in her own car. She gave him a facetious little wave and a fake smile as she drove off. Brian slammed his fist into the side of his Jeep, leaving a nice big dent in the door panel, and then cringed as the pain in his hand finally overwhelmed his fury.
After spending a few hours sharing her emotional woes with as many shots of tequila as she could handle at the Hershee bar - one of the best lesbian bars on Liberty Avenue - Lindsey decided it was time for her and Brian to come to a reasonable conclusion regarding their son. She would be the first to admit that when she had taken off and left Gus in his father’s care, it had been for selfish reasons. Her marriage to Mel had just fallen apart. She wanted a carefree life, but she also wanted Mel and she felt she couldn’t have either of those things if she were tied down with full-time parenthood. But being back and seeing how much of Gus’ life she’d missed out on made her regret the horrible decision she had made.
Downing her last shot, Lindsey gathered up her purse and headed to the one place she was sure to find Brian. Twenty minutes later Lindsey stumbled into Babylon quickly scanning the crowd for any familiar face that could point her in Brian’s direction. Coming up empty, Lindsey made her way to the bar where Ted, Mikey, and Em stood watching all the sweaty beautiful bodies gyrating on the dance floor. Right in the very center of them all, was their undisputed king, Brian Kinney, dancing with shirtless wonder #5389 - a tall, dark-haired beauty with rippling pecs, less than 2% body fat and, apparently, no objections to public displays of lust. Lindsey ordered another drink and then turned around to join the boys in watching the show, just as the beauty started to grope at Brian’s denim-clad crotch with one hand, his other snaked up under the hem of his dance partner’s shirt.
The boys watched with a mix of awe and envy as Brian effortlessly leaned in, whispering something undoubtedly erotic in the accommodating beauty’s ear.
“Bastard,” Emmett said shaking his head with a small smile.
“He doesn’t even have to try.” Michael replied.
Ted tried his best not to let his jealousy show as well, but couldn’t help adding his two cents. “Yep, as usual Brian gets all the beauties, while we get to sit back and watch.”
“What is it you think he says,” Lindz added acerbically, her expression disapproving but yet still somehow envious.
“Whatever it is, we’ll never know,” Michael replied, his own tone evidencing only the same sheer idol worship he’d always exhibited around Brian.
With a look of disgust, Lindsey sneered at Michael, “I see you haven’t changed. Still worshipping at the Altar of the Great God Kinney.” The rest of the gang heard, all rolling their eyes at the obvious truth of her words. “However, I’m not quite as enamored by your hero these days, Michael. Brian is being his usual asshole self about my visiting with Gus.”
Just as Lindsey was building up steam to run Brian completely into the ground, she noticed the object of her rage staring intently towards the stairwell that led down from the offices and the upstairs apartment. Much to the raven haired Beauty’s displeasure, he would soon find himself replaced by the gorgeous piece of blond boy ass currently descending and making his way towards the tall lanky brunet standing under the spotlight in the center of the dance floor. Lindsey kept her eyes trained on the dance floor, trying to discern through the masses of writhing bodies exactly what had now captured Brian’s attention, while her mouth kept continuously spewing drunken venom about how unreasonable Brian was being towards her.
“...and to make matters worse, he has the nerve to have some little blond bimbo around my son all the time...can you believe that shit!”
“You don’t mean Justin do you?” Ted inquired.
“Who’s Justin,” Michael asked, cluelessly.
“That’s Justin,” Ted pointed to where the blond had just made his way through the ring of spectators, emerging next to Brian, who immediately shoved the now unwanted Beauty away from him.
“OOOOOOO! What an absolute doll,” Emmett gushed as soon as he too got an eyeful of the slightly built blond that was now plastered against Brian. “Doesn’t he have the most delicious bubble butt you’ve ever seen? And would you get a load of that basket . . . there’s nothing there but the big bad wolf!” Emmett shrieked when Justin turned around and started grinding his ass into Briand crotch. Then as an afterthought he added “Well one thing’s for sure, this Justin must be someone pretty damn special, if the look on Brian’s face is any indication.”
Michael stood there with a weird look on his face, “I’ve seen that guy someplace before . . .” Scrunching up his forehead and brows in concentration, Michael combed his memory. “Yes! He was at Woody’s a few weeks ago showing a picture of Brian around. He wanted to know who Brian was. The photo was laminated and looked really old. Like it had been handled a lot. I told him Brian’s name and sent him here. What do you think that was all about?”
The turn of conversation caught Lindsey’s attention, she looked over to Michael. “An old laminated photo of Brian? How would that kid get a picture of Brian? How long ago, Michael? Didn’t the blond just start working for Babylon last week, Ted? If so, why was he asking about Brian before then? Unless . . . Ben, had a photo of Brian he took with him when he went overseas. I think it was even laminated . . .”
A cool smile graced Lindsey’s lips thinking of all the ways this little tidbit of information could work in her favor. This could be just the thing to help her get back into Brian’s good graces and get rid of that blond slut at the same time. And, if that happened, maybe she could work things so she didn’t have to go to court over Gus’ custody at all. Yes, this might work into her plans just perfectly!