Do Unto Others


“I don’t understand how you could know that before me,” Justin complained as the guys headed toward the Giant Eagle for a brief shopping trip. “I like – always know stuff before you ….”

“Simple enough, Kiddo,” Brian laughed. “I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. There I was – dropping off that art stuff you wanted me to get to Linz – that you really should have taken over there yourself – and then you’d have been there instead of me when Gus came home from school ….”

“O just cut it out, Brian,” Justin stopped him. “You volunteered to take those things over – you wanted to go over - and you know it too. You probably knew that Gus won his class essay contest about the real meaning of Christmas – and you’d be the first one to find out ….”

“Tied for first, Baby,” Brian was still laughing. “Lindsay found out at the same time I did. And she called Melanie right away so …..”

“So I’m really like – the fourth one to find out,” Justin groused. “Gee whiz.”

“Actually, Sweetheart,” Brian continued his roll, “I saw Emmett and Ted on my way over here to meet you – and I think I told them about it. I’m a proud father after all – and they were heading over to Mikey’s ….”

“You did that deliberately, Kinney – so I’d be the last to know - out of spite I bet. So anyway - what did Gus say the real meaning of Christmas was, Kinney?” Justin changed the direction of the conversation –maybe taking the offensive just a little bit. “Bet he didn’t learn the true meaning of Christmas from you – or he wouldn’t have been winning any prizes ….”

“Maybe not,” Brian conceded. “He just said that the real meaning of Christmas was to be more interested in the happiness of others than in your own happiness ….”

“Well he didn’t learn that from you, Brian,” Justin actually grinned despite himself. “You should have known I’d want to be the first one to know about Gus’ prize so – if you were more interested in my happiness than your own – you should have told Gus not to tell you first ….”

“Well I’m not sure what the logistics of that would have been, Babe,” Brian admitted with a smile, “but Gus was pretty anxious to tell somebody. He probably wanted you to know first but he was just so excited that he couldn’t wait so – even if me and Linz weren’t his first choices ….”

“And I bet you slipped him a tenspot as a reward too,” Justin surmised. “Like he should be rewarded for thinking of others before himself?”

“Actually, Taylor,” Brian laughed, “in the true spirit of the holiday, I slipped him a twenty. I guess I must be more generous than you ….”

“Totally wrong, Kinney,” Justin pronounced. “If you really wanted to please Gus, you should have donated that twenty to some worthy charity in his name ….”

“You’re right of course, Sweetheart,” Brian agreed, “just like always. But he actually accepted the gift in the proper spirit of the holiday. He said he was gonna use that twenty to buy you a better present than he was going to be able to get on his previous budget ….”

“You know what, Brian,” Justin told him, “maybe I should come up with a twenty for Gus too – or better yet – maybe even a fifty. He does seem to have the genuine Christmas spirit ….”

“Yeah,” Brian agreed, “then maybe he’d be able to budget a better gift for me too ….”

“Exactly what I was thinking, Brian,” Justin elbowed his companion lightly in his side. “Just trying to make others happy in this happy holiday season …..”

“Geez, Sunshine,” Brian elbowed him back. “I hope you didn’t forget the damn grocery list – like you always do….”

“You’d like that, I bet,” Justin challenged him. “Bet you’d like to complain. Well sorry, Kinney – no fun for you - I have the list right here ….”

“So I guess you weren’t thinking of my happiness at all when you brought it, JT?” Brian pointed out facetiously. “Trying to keep me from having fun ….”

“Brian Kinney,” Justin told him, “you know I am always thinking about your happiness – just like you are always thinking about mine. It’s always Christmas with us ….”

And Brian knew that too.

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