Authors notes: I have no medical knowledge all mistakes are mine. I borrowed one character from Joss Whedon, I promise to give her back.
Justin was in the kitchen gathering the ingredients for a new spaghetti sauce he wanted to try out. The loft door rattled back announcing Brian’s arrival.
“Hey you’re home.” Justin smiled from the kitchen.
Brian set his briefcase down on his desk then pulled Justin into his arms for a kiss. Brian took in the pots and pans with ingredients strewn along the counters.
“I see you're cooking tonight.”
“I’m gonna go take a shower.” Brian absently pressed a kiss to Justin’s temple then walked to the bedroom loosening his tie as he went.
After watching Brian disappear up into the bedroom, Justin happily went back to work in the kitchen. Once he had started experimenting in the kitchen he discovered that he actually liked cooking. It was pretty satisfying making something that actually tasted good too. Brian’s solution to food consumption was to order in, eat at the diner or get an invite at the Munchers. That was all well and good but after a while it did get a bit sickening. Once he gained a bit of confidence in the kitchen Justin realized it was kinda fun and relaxing to.
Brian walked across the loft in nothing but a red towel still slightly damp from his shower. Justin was stirring the simmering sauce. He licked his lips and if his cheeks were flushed it was just from the heat in the kitchen. Boy was it hot.
“Taste this.” Justin smiled holding out the sauce covered spoon. Justin held his breath as Brian tasted the sauce. It made him half hard watching Brian.
“That’s suspiciously good.” Brian’s gaze was filled with heat. “Careful or you’ll become the perfect little wife.”
Justin rolled his eyes. “I happen to like cooking, it’s not so bad. Besides you eat out a lot. I thought it would be nice to have a home cooked meal sometimes.
“Well I do like your crème sauce,” Brian murmured softly next to his ear.
Justin laughed and pushed Brian away. “Guess what we’re having for dessert?” Justin smiled brightly.
“A Penicillin tart.” Brian opened the fridge and looked inside.
Justin frowned in confusion. “What?”
“A Penicillin tart. I have Syphilis.” Brian showed no emotion at all.
Justin felt like a bucket of freezing ice water had been dumped on him. He blinked. “Syphilis.”
“It’s not a big deal.”
“It’s not a big deal,” Justin repeated somewhat incredulous. “It can cause heart abnormalities, mental disorders and blindness.”
“Thank you for the public service announcement, Dr. Taylor,” Brian said sarcastically. “The patient has already been treated and cured. All I have to do now is refrain from fucking your brains out for the next 48 hours, make that 42. By the way you should get tested yourself.”
Justin could not believe how cold and matter of fact Brian was being. At that moment it sickened him. “Did you fuck someone without a condom?”
“No, never, word of honor.” Brian held up his hand.
“Then how did you get it?”
“It must have been someone who sucked me off.”
“I’m surprised it hasn’t happened sooner considering where your dicks been,” Justin spat bitterly.
“Excuse me but you haven’t exactly been a saint yourself. In fact I might have even gotten it from you,” Brian accused coldly.
Justin’s mouth dropped open in shock then he sneered. “You sanctimonious son of a bitch! You nonchalantly tell me you have Syphilis, that it’s no big deal. Then you have the gall to accuse me of giving it to you. Did you conveniently forget in your advanced age that you had to tell me you were infected not the other way around? And for your information I don’t fuck as many guys as you think I do.”
Justin angrily flipped the knob off on the stove. He had suddenly lost his appetite and he could give a flying fuck whether Brian was hungry or not. He stormed into the living room and jammed his feet into his shoes. Justin snagged his red hoodie and wool coat tugging the layers on one at a time.
“What about dinner?” Brian asked arching a brow.
“Fuck dinner and fuck you,” Justin said with quiet rage.
“Where are you going?” Brian asked in a bored tone.
“Out, don’t wait up.” Justin slammed the loft door behind him.
When Justin got down to the street he was panting with pent up rage inside him. His fists were clenched at his sides and he was visibly trembling. Justin took a couple deep calming breaths till he could think more clearly then he began to walk to the bus stop.
Justin knocked on Daphne’s door. He thought to himself that Daphne must get so sick of him showing up every time Brian fucked up. She was his best friend and he vowed he’d be there for her like she was for him, if she ever got a serious boyfriend. She would probably have better taste in men than he did he thought bitterly.
Daphne opened the door, took one look at Justin’s face and mentally thought ‘this can’t be good.’
“Come on in.”
Justin plopped down on the futon with a weary sigh. “Is it a problem if I stay here tonight? Possibly longer, just until I can figure out some other arrangement.”
Daphne’s eyebrows rose a little at that. She wondered what the hell had happened. It wasn’t uncommon for Justin to stay with her for a few days every time Brian fucked up but this sounded a little more on the long term side.
“Nope not a problem. So wanna tell me about it?”
Justin looked down and rubbed his forehead. His lips curved into a smirk. “Just so we’re clear I’m the one who get’s to castrate him but I’ll let you help.”
“Jesus, what the hell did he do?” Daphne had never heard Justin talk this way before.
“Well while I was making the prick his dinner he informed me that he contracted Syphilis and that I should get checked too.”
Daphne let out a small gasp.
Justin shook his head, his lips twisting into a sneer. “Then he had the fucking gal to blame me.”
Daphne growled low in her throat.
Justin laughed bitterly. “If I had infected him with something you better believe he’d be up in my face screaming then shoving me out the door, but since it’s him it’s like ... I don’t know, I’m not supposed to get pissed off, that I’m overreacting.”
“Bull fucking shit!” Daphne yelled.
“I know, thank you for agreeing. He’s changed. When I was 17, he told me to always use protection, that he wanted me safe and around for a long time. Where the hell that Brian went I have no idea.”
“Justin...” Daphne bit her lip.
“Go ahead and say it,” Justin said quietly.
“I’m just concerned, Justin. This is serious and next time he could bring something home a lot worse than Syphilis.”
“Believe me, I know. That’s why I’m going to find some place else to stay for awhile. I need to think of what’s best for me.”
“Good for you.” Daphne touched his knee.
“Ya know he didn’t even care that he might have infected me. All he could think about was how soon he could fuck me.”
“Bastard! I’ll go get you the rusty spoon.”
Justin’s lips quirked up into a small smile. Then his stomach grumbled loudly reminding him he’d walked out on dinner.
“Do you think you could make some of your world famous macaroni and cheese?” He could use some comfort food right about now.
Daphne nodded, “Yes of course.” She jumped up and headed for the kitchen, glad she could do something for Justin besides just giving him a place to stay.
Justin followed her into the kitchen and leaned against the counter.
“I hate to ask but can I borrow your car tomorrow? I just want to get this over with. God, I’m so not looking forward to going to the doctor, fucking humiliating is what it’s gonna be.”
“Of course you can.”
Justin shrugged out of his coat and flopped it over a kitchen chair making himself comfortable in Daphne’s apartment.
Justin went to the clinic the very next day. He couldn’t help but feel antsy. The idea that some disease could be crawling around his body made him feel itchy all over. He signed his name at the check in and prepared to wait most of his life to see a doctor.
“Justin Taylor, Doctor Evans will see you now.”
Justin got up and went to one of the exam rooms.
“So Justin what seems to be the trouble?” the doctor said as he shut the door.
Justin found a sudden fascination with the floor. “Uh… well, last night my partner informed me that he, um, contracted Syphilis and that I should get checked out too.”
“I see. Are you experiencing any symptoms? Such as itching, sores, any burning?”
“Uh no, not yet anyway.”
“You know Justin it’s really important to practice safe sex.”
Justin nodded. “I know. I do.”
He felt like saying that if the doctor only knew who his partner was he’d be lecturing Brian instead of him. As it was he got a 15 minute lecture on how important it is to practice safe sex. By the end of it Justin was ready to rip off Brian’s one remaining ball and feed it to a rabid dog. A nurse came in and took a sample of his blood. Let the waiting game begin.
Justin felt like getting some work done in the art studio he shared with a couple of other students. He pulled out a blank canvas and went to work. First he started slashing colors onto the canvas with needlelike precision but as his emotions took over soon he was practically hurling the paint onto the now colorful canvas.
“Wow, that’s so intense.”
Justin looked over his shoulder and saw a delicate looking little redhead; he thought her name was Vi.
“Thanks.” He stood back a little to examine his work.
“Bad break up?” she asked gesturing to the canvas.
Justin huffed out a little laugh. “No but probably one in the making.” He shrugged. “Maybe I’ll do a series.” Then something occurred to him. He thought he remembered overhearing that Vi was looking for a roommate about a week back.
“Uh, Vi? Your name is Vi, isn’t it?”
“Yep,” she smiled happily at him.”
“Are you by any chance still looking for a roommate?”
“Yes,” she said excitedly.
Justin nodded. “Great cuz, uh...” He gestured to the painting. “I kinda need some time away from my boyfriend.”
Vi nodded in understanding. “I live at #3 Fulsom.”
Justin sighed. “I need to go grab some of my stuff then I’ll come over.”
“Do you need me to come with you? I’ve been told I’m pretty vicious.”
Justin smiled in amusement. For a moment he pictured Vi attacking Brian like a terrier who’s just seen the mail man. Justin chuckled. “No, but thanks, it wasn’t that kind of fight.”
“Ok, I guess I’ll see ya when I see ya.”
After Justin cleaned up at the art studio he drove Daphne’s car over to the loft. He checked his watch and figured Brian would still be at work. He just really wanted to grab up some things and get gone. Justin took the elevator up. When he was outside Brian’s door he pressed his ear to the door to see if he could hear anything. Then he realized he was being kind of stupid, what did he think he would hear through a steel door. He let himself in then breathed a sigh of relief, Brian wasn’t there.
Justin quickly strode up to the bedroom. He grabbed his duffel bag from the closet and began to fill it with jeans, t-shirts and hoodies. He emptied out his one drawer. Justin quickly moved on to the bathroom and snatched his toothbrush, allergy medicine and other necessities.
He then went back down and over to his art desk. He scooped up a couple of sketch books and a few other things he thought he might need. He looked at his computer and sighed. He wasn’t looking forward to packing it up. No matter how much of a prick Brian was he would insist that he take the computer. He’d deal with it later. Justin was on his way out when he stopped short and headed into the kitchen. He checked the fridge and was glad to see his double fudge chocolate cake was still there untouched. Like hell he would let it go to waste, or let Brian enjoy it. He carefully boxed it up. After locking up the loft he left and didn’t look back.
Justin dropped Daphne’s car off at her apartment. He then spent quite a few minutes figuring out which bus would take him to Vi’s place. As he boarded the bus he gave Brian a mental middle finger. Brian never wanted him to use the bus because it wasn’t safe. He’d have to get used to taking buses everywhere now.
Brian came home from the office. He dropped his briefcase on his desk then headed up to the bedroom to get out of his suit. When he went to the closet he noticed a lot of Justin’s clothes were gone. A quick peek in the bathroom revealed a missing toothbrush. Brian snorted; Justin’s leaving was becoming a habit. He would be back sooner or later.
Justin arrived at Vi’s and knocked on her door. When she answered the door he presented her with the rescued cake.
“I come bearing chocolate.”
She let out a little girly squeal.
“You’re like the best roommate ever.”
Justin laughed; he had a feeling that he’d get along with Vi just fine.
Justin spent a lot of time sequestered away in the art studio. When he wasn’t there he was curled up on the futon with Vi for movie night. Anything to distract him from the fact that Valentine's Day was fast approaching. Love was in the air and Justin was seeing red in more ways than one. He didn’t want to be subjected to all the love on Liberty Ave. Especially seeing Shandra with “her” new attentive beau, it truly made him want to vomit.
The crowning jewel was the day before Valentine's. He got the call from the clinic. Brian had indeed managed to infect him. After he hung up with the doctor he cursed Brian out, calling him many creative things. When Vi heard the news she helped curse Brian too. Justin broke into hysterical laughter when Vi called Brian a cunt waffle. There had to be some irony somewhere at the fact that on Valentines Day he’d be getting a shot in the ass. If he happened to see Cupid, he was one dead fucker.
Justin was at the clinic early on Valentine's Day. The expression on his face read ‘stay out of my way or die a horrible death.’ The wait wasn’t long and before he knew it he was getting a shot in the ass and it hurt like a mother fucker. Justin walked to the door and started to feel a little off. He dismissed it and walked into the hall. By then he was struggling for breath. His hand slapped weakly at the wall trying to steady himself. He didn’t realize what was happening; he was just in a blind panic as his breathing was slowly being cut off.
A nurse noticed his distress and was at his side immediately. She grabbed his arm just in time for his knees to buckle and give out; she guided his body down to the ground.
“Doctor, we have a patient down,” she called out. The nurse tipped Justin’s head back and loosened Justin’s shirt around his throat. She noticed in addition to not being able to breathe there was a huge rash on Justin’s throat. He was having an allergic reaction to the Penicillin.
“It’s ok, Justin, you’re going to be ok, don’t panic.”
The doctor and another nurse rushed to their side. Justin’s breathing was down to sporadic little gasps of air. His pale lips were starting to turn blue. One of the nurse’s felt Justin’s throat.
“His airway is too tight.”
Dr. Evans uncapped a syringe and administered Epinephrine. He called out to another nurse, “Call an ambulance; he needs to be transported to a hospital.”
“Starting CPR,” called out the first nurse. She placed a mask over Justin’s face and began to steadily squeeze the bag. An IV line was set up and still Justin remained unresponsive. A few minutes later he was being carried out on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance.
Cynthia burst into Brian’s office.
“I thought I said no interruptions.”
“The hospital called, it’s Justin. It sounded serious.”
Brian jumped up. “Hold all my calls and reschedule the meetings I had for today.”
Brian drove like a bat out of hell to get to the hospital. On the way he thought of all the things that could have happened. He parked haphazardly and rushed over to the nurse’s station.
“I was notified Justin Taylor is here.”
The nurse directed him to a waiting room. “A doctor will speak to you shortly.”
Brian waited for nearly an hour before a doctor showed up.
“Is there someone here for Justin Taylor?” a doctor called out.
Brian stood up. “I am.” He followed the doctor to a private nook.
“I’m Dr. McCall I’ll be treating Justin. Are you family?”
“I have papers here. I have medical power of attorney over him.”
“All right,” the doctor said. He glanced at Justin’s chart. “Justin was being treated for Syphilis at the university’s clinic. He had a severe reaction to the Penicillin.”
Brian’s mouth dropped open. “He wasn’t allergic to Penicillin.” Though why that would surprise him now he didn’t know. Justin was after all the boy allergic to everything.
“Well he is now. Penicillin is a very fickle medicine. A patient can take it throughout their life with no problem. Then one day they take it and it nearly ends up killing them.”
Brian ran a shaky hand through his hair. “Is he alright?”
“He’s stable. Justin stopped breathing at the clinic. He was rushed here. We have him on a ventilator. He hasn’t regained consciousness. I don’t expect him to get any worse.”
“Can I go in and sit with him?”
“Of course he’s in room 107.”
Brian quietly stepped into the room. Justin looked so small and pale in the bed, tubes and wires sticking out of him unnaturally. He sank down in the chair next to Justin’s bed. God what he wouldn’t give for a drink right about now. He gently slid his hand underneath Justin’s. There was no question this was all his fault.
At the time he shrugged off the Syphilis thing as no big deal. But this was exactly what Justin was afraid would happen. At the time he just hadn’t really thought. It had been an annoyance to him but nearly fatal to Justin. Of course Justin had become allergic to Penicillin; he was allergic to practically everything else.
Brian didn’t know how long he’d sat there watching over Justin, long enough for his legs to cramp and his ass to go numb. Brian got up and stretched. He’d put it off long enough; he needed to call mother Taylor. His one remaining ball was as good as gone. Brian went outside to make the call then he lit up a cigarette. Fifteen minutes later Jennifer Taylor descended upon him.
“What happened Brian?”
“He’s now allergic to Penicillin.”
She frowned. “Penicillin, what was he taking that for?”
“Probably for the Syphilis I gave him.”
She blinked at him and her mouth dropped open. “That’s not funny, Brian.”
“Do you see me laughing?”
In the blink of an eye she grabbed his lapels roughly. “You gave my son Syphilis.” Her voice rose and people began to stare. “How could you do that to him? Wasn’t putting him in the hospital once enough for you? Are you trying to kill him?”
She tried to choke down her rage, to stay calm. “I’ll admit dealing with him being gay was hard, harder still when I met you, a man so much older than Justin. You broke his heart time and time again. You can’t keep it in your god damn pants. You gave my son a sexually transmitted disease. Do you even know that today is Valentine's Day? Justin deserves so much more. He deserves someone who is satisfied with just him, who will love him and show him the world, not put him in a hospital bed.
“I’m not that kind of guy” Brian said with a hollow voice. And Justin knew it.”
Justin opened his eyes a crack. He took in his surroundings and promptly shut them again. Of course he was in the hospital. He hated hospitals. Then he idly wondered if it was still Valentine's Day; he seriously hoped not. Then he finally registered that someone was holding his hand. He looked down at the hand and followed it up till he saw Brian. Oh. He tried to speak but all that came out was a little croak. Brian reached over and handed him a glass of water with a bendy straw.
“What are you doing here?” he finally managed.
“The hospital called me.”
Justin nodded. “Right, what day is it?”
‘Thank God for small favors,’ Justin thought.
“Ok, I’m going to keep this short for both our sakes. I’m done, Brian. I can’t do this anymore.”
“Well, you know your limits.”
“Yeah and I’ve reached them. It was never about how many guys you slept with. It was your blatant disregard for my safety. You once told me you wanted me safe and around for a long time. Now years later you’re infecting me with Syphilis. I don’t want to know what you’d do for an encore. It’s not ok and I know we could have just as easily given it to each other but that’s not what happened. I’ll always want romance, one guy who wants just me. I want someone who will celebrate my birthday or anniversary and give me stupid little gifts just to make me happy. Who will show some fucking emotion when I’m in the hospital.” He looked pointedly at Brian. “Hopefully the next guy won’t be another Ethan. I still have hope.”
Brian rolled his lips into his mouth and just nodded. “I’ll just go then,” Brian said and walked out the door.
Brian no more than left and Justin's mother walked in. He groaned silently to himself.
“Mom, please can I have a couple minutes between rounds?”
“Sure, I’ll just go get some coffee.”
“By the way we broke up…. for good.”
His mother nodded. “Best news I’ve heard all day.”
Justin’s eyes slipped closed; he was so exhausted.
The next time Justin opened his eyes there was a hot intern standing over his bed.
“Hey,” the guy smiled. “Welcome back to the land of the living.”
“Hey.” Justin smiled slightly.
“How are you feeling? You look a lot better.”
Justin groaned, “Like I’ve been run over by a semi.”
Mr. Hottie pulled up a stool and sat down. He chuckled, “That’s pretty normal actually from just coming off a ventilator.”
The guy had bright green eyes behind wire rimmed glasses. Justin didn’t even know he had a glasses kink.
“Kind of a bummer spending Valentine's in the hospital.”
“Eh, I’m glad I slept through it, not that I wanted to do it in a hospital mind you. When your ex boyfriend gives you Syphilis for Valentine's day and then you have an allergic reaction to the treatment, I think it’s best to just call it a day and lose consciousness.”
“Yeah, that really sucks, man. Ok don’t tell on me.” The guy reached into his pocket and pulled out several foil covered chocolates. He set them down on the table in front of Justin.
“I raided my boyfriend’s candy stash; he’s a nurse here. I think you could use this more. Chocolate makes everything better.”
Of course, Justin internally sighed. All the good ones were already taken.
Mr. Hottie of the emerald eyes left. Justin unwrapped a chocolate and popped it in his mouth and sighed.
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