“My back is killing me.”
“Since when do you have aches and pains?”
“Ever since you’ve been trying to talk me into doing something stupid.”
“Since when is marching in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade stupid?” Michael demanded. “You’re Irish for fuck sake.”
“I may be descended from drunken Irish stock, but that doesn’t mean I have to celebrate my fucked up heritage,” Brian retorted.
“Oh come on, Brian, it’ll be fun.”
“Fun, my ass!”
“Please,” Michael wheedled. He knew Brian was still suffering from Justin’s departure to Los Angeles for the Rage project. He thought the parade would be a nice diversion.
“Why the fuck do you want to march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade? You’re half Italian and half drag queen. Nary an Irish bone in your cute widdle bod,” Brian informed his old friend.
“You think I have a cute bod?” Michael asked as he stared into the full length mirror near the loft door. Brian glared at him. Studying his reflection in the mirror, Michael informed his friend, “I might have a smidge of Irish somewhere in my ancestry, and besides, the parade will be fun.”
“Your definition of fun and mine bear no resemblance to one another.”
“You might find a hunky Irishman to fuck along the parade route,” Michael suggested.
Brian shook his head. “Is there such a thing?” he asked tersely.
“Seems to me you’ve fucked a few redheads.”
“Not every redhead is Irish.”
“True. Hey, maybe I’m black Irish,” Michael said with a twinkle in his eye, again studying himself in the mirror. “Therefore, we should march in the parade.”
“You just don’t give the fuck up, do you?”
“Will the good professor be joining us?” Brian asked sarcastically.
Michael tried to stifle the smile and the whoop of victory that threatened to escape when he heard Brian’s words. He knew he had won. “It’s Ben’s university group that we’ll be marching with,” Michael explained.
“I didn’t know the good professor was Irish.”
“Then why…?” Brian held out his hands in a questioning gesture.
“The university agreed to put a contingent in the parade, but they didn’t have that many volunteers.”
“So he enlisted you, and you coerced me,” Brian noted.
“Something like that,” Michael said with a sly grin.
“You’ll have a good time,” Michael insisted.
“That is totally beyond the realm of possibility.”
“I’ll take you for a green beer afterwards,” Michael promised.
“If that’s supposed to be an incentive to march in the parade, you totally missed the mark.”
Michael chuckled. “Okay, then let’s just go. Ben will be waiting for us.”
With a huge sigh of dissatisfaction Brian grabbed his jacket and followed Michael out the door.
As they walked down Main St. in the middle of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Michael was all cheerfulness. His perky attitude was getting on Brian’s nerves. It was bad enough that Brian had agreed to participate in this useless parade, but now he was being expected to be happy about it.
“Aren’t these T-shirts that the university got for us cute?” Michael gushed to Brian.
“Peachy,” Brian reacted.
“Kiss me, I’m Irish is very a propos,” Michael contended.
“I’d rather have that one,” Brian replied pointing to a good looking guy standing on the curb. His sweat shirt read Rub me for luck.
“Do you think he’s gay?” Michael asked.
“I should go find out.”
“No you shouldn’t!” Michael said grabbing Brian’s arm and preventing him from getting away.
“And neither should you,” Ben said as he looped his arm through Michael’s.
“Pardon me while I go rub a magic wand,” Brian said trying to extricate himself from Michael’s grip.
“Briiaan,” Michael whined. “Stay with us until we get to the next corner,” Michael pleaded.
Brian looked over at the man he was getting ready to rub. They exchanged knowing looks. “I don’t see why the next corner makes any difference. I believe I have an impending appointment with an Irishman.”
“Um, no, please, Brian!” Michael repeated in his pleading tone.
“Yes, Brian, you should walk with us to the next corner,” Ben said decisively. “That’s where the Carnegie Mellon benefactors are standing. We need to make a good impression. After that, you can leave if you want.”
“Thanks for your permission to go, Professor,” Brian replied sarcastically, but at the same time he gave the handsome Irishman over on the curb a nod of the head to indicate that they should meet up ahead. Brian watched as the man made his way along the sidewalk, while Brian continued with Ben and Michael walking in the street.
As the corner drew near, Brian scanned the crowd for the Irishman. He was still making his way through the crowds of people on the sidewalk.
“I believe this is where I get off,” Brian said with a waggle of his eyebrows.
The smile on Michael’s face melted away. He looked around frantically. Brian walked towards the side of the street.
“Brian,” a voice called from the opposite side of the street.
Brian turned and stared into familiar blue eyes in a face that he thought he might never see again. “Justin,” he whispered.
“My plane was late or I would have met you several streets back,” Justin said breathlessly as he ran across the road dodging the people walking in the parade. Ben steered them all towards the side of the street.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” Brian began with a frown.
“I thought I’d surprise you,” Justin said with a wary look on his face.
“You knew he was coming?” Brian asked Michael.
“Yeah, we arranged this.”
“To torture me?”
“Fuck no, Brian,” Michael stated. “I thought it would be fun, and this way we could make sure you were here when Justin arrived.”
Brian shook his head and stared at the man he knew he loved. Justin moved closer and stood on his tiptoes to kiss Brian’s cheek.
“What’s that for?” Brian asked.
“Your T-shirt says to kiss you.” This was not at all the reaction that Justin had been expecting.
“And yours says I Love Irish Boys.”
“Yeah,” Justin said with a smile. “I saw it at the airport and I couldn’t resist.”
“Is that right?”
“I guess it should say I Love One Particular Irish Boy.”
Brian gave him a quizzical look, but there was a twinkle in his eye as he said, “Shouldn’t that be Irish Man?”
Justin smiled at that. “You are glad to see me, aren’t you?” Justin asked uncertainly.
Before Brian could answer a voice spoke up. “Hey, I thought we were going to hook up,” the handsome Irishman said as he stepped into the street.
“Fuck off!” Brian ordered.
“Hey, you indicated…”
“You’re too late. I’ve got what I want,” Brian stated as he took Justin’s hand. “We’ve wasted too much time already. Let’s go home.”
“I thought you’d never ask,” Justin said with a big grin.
“Fucking asshole!” the Irishman yelled after them.
“Yeah, but he’s my asshole,” Justin yelled back.
“And don’t you forget it,” Brian ordered as they ran to the next street over and hailed a passing cab. They couldn’t get to the loft fast enough.
Feedback for Thyme
or email to email@example.com
Return to the St. Patrick's Day Challenge