My Favorite Damn Disease

Author Notes: The fic title comes from a lyric in Nickelback's "Figured You Out". Screen cap is courtesy of Paddies and can be found here:

Thanks: To my beta, a heartfelt thanks for reading on two hours sleep, no dinner, and in the midst of a tropical storm

Brian - 8:20 am

Brian stared angrily at the 8 X 10 glossies covering every square inch of his desk and choked down another mouthful of what had to be the world's vilest coffee. All he had to do was choose the best five, but this typically routine task was proving impossible. Closing his eyes, he willed himself to concentrate. He could do this. This was part of his brilliance - he always chose winners. Shuffling the photographs for possibly the hundredth time, he waited for the cream to rise to the top, but it was no good and had been no good all fucking morning long.


Because the only thing he saw, the only thing he could actually focus on and had been able to focus on for the past goddamn hour was the fact that one of the tennis players that appeared in every single one of the photos had the exact same hair color and cut as the fucking kid.

It had been three days since he'd last seen Justin. Four, if he counted today. But he wasn't counting, was he? Fuck.

Throwing the loupe down, he punched the intercom and yelled for Cynthia. She appeared at the door seconds later, flinty-eyed and ready for war. "Yes?" Her smile was dangerous.

"This. Coffee. Is. Swill." Brian pointed to the offending cup. "You know I hate that fucking Beanery shit. It tastes like ammonia run through a jock strap."

Cynthia's smile turned just shy of gleeful. "Well, you would know."

Brian bristled, but then bit his tongue, because, yeah, well, he would.  Smiling tightly, he motioned toward his desk. "Here. Pick your favorites."

Cynthia hesitated before coming forward. She knew Brian valued her opinion, but he'd never asked for input this early in a campaign. Usually, it was after the fact, as affirmation of his genius.

Gamely, Cynthia quickly chose the best of the lot and stepped back to wait for his verdict.

Brian pretended to study the ones she'd chosen, but all he saw was gold flashing in the sun. Gold lying on his pillow. This was becoming intolerable.

He forced himself to look up. "You have a good eye. I chose the same ones."

Smiling, Cynthia turned to go, but stopped when Brian cleared his throat.  Doing a bad job of looking contrite, he held out the coffee cup and said, "Get me something decent."

"You got it." Cynthia relieved him of the cup and shut the door behind her.

Brian scowled down at the chosen seven. All he had to do was get rid of two.  Come on. Come on. Minutes ticked by and it still wasn't happening.  Motherfucker. He slashed at the offending pile, knocking most to the floor, but a few remained to taunt him. He needed coffee. He needed Advil. He needed to stop thinking about that fucking kid.

He'd been fucking Justin on and off for about two months and was utterly bewildered as to why. Since when did he fuck tricks more than once? Since when did he fuck seventeen-year-olds? In high school, for Christ sakes. He didn't even like blonds, as Michael helpfully kept reminding him. He picked up one of the stills and jabbed a finger in the tennis player's face.  "I don't even like blonds."

Unruffled, the handsome towhead serenely returned a killer backhand. Brian growled in disgust and frisbeed the photo across the room, yelling after it, "Fuck you! He's hotter than you by a fucking long shot!"

Shit. He was losing it. Maybe he had a brain tumor. That would definitely explain his bizarre behavior. Maybe the coffee had actually been delicious!  Something was wrong with him. Somehow that little bastard had hijacked his brain, because every goddamn thing he saw lately reminded him of Justin - his flirty smile, his awe-inspiring ass, how he laughed during sex, and fuck almighty, how he smelled - like lemons and summer grass.

But what really haunted him was the way Justin looked at him. Like he knew something Brian didn't. Like he knew something Brian should know. It was infuriating. How dare he look at him like that? Fuck him and his fucking blue-eyed truth.

Justin - 9:45 am

Justin raced through his calculus test, impatient to be done. He normally enjoyed math, printing out his answers in a neat, precise hand. But not today. Today, infinite series and convergence could kiss his tasty ass.  Hastily solving the final equation, he shut the blue book, flung his pencil aside and looked at his watch. Fifteen minutes left. Fifteen minutes to devote to his most pressing problem: what to do about Brian. He felt a fleeting twinge of guilt for not using the remaining time to check his work, but fuck it. He knew he'd get at least a B. Math was easy, it was Brian fucking Kinney that had him stumped.

It had been three days since he'd stopped chasing after Brian; four if you counted today. But goddamn it if he was going to let that asshole treat him like a convenient orifice and then be tossed out on his ass.

He'd slept for shit last night. He'd had not one but two wet dreams - something that had never happened before. Of course both dreams had been about who the fuck else? And then he'd woken up late for school, afflicted with yet another erection. Determined not to think about Brian, he'd jerked off to one of his favorite fantasies - the one where he was an apprentice to a Renaissance-era painter. But it hadn't worked. He'd switched to the forest ranger in the abandoned cabin, but that left him frustrated. The fireman left him cold and the swim team floundered. Increasingly desperate, he'd gone for the Hail Mary - his sure-fire priest fantasy. But even that had failed to provide the fuel he needed.

Dick aching and about to miss the bus, he'd finally allowed himself to go to Brian. He thought about the way Brian sometimes kissed the back of his neck when he thought he was asleep and came instantly.

And now, here he was in class with another hard-on. He looked around guiltily, certain everyone would know. But, of course, no one was looking at him. He raised his hand, was excused to go to the bathroom, and left the room with his backpack strategically in place.

Brian- 11:30 am

Brian double-checked his briefcase to make sure everything he needed was in place. He sure as shit didn't trust himself today. On his way through the outer office, Cynthia looked up from the phone, signaling for him to wait.  Toying with a paper clip, he debated whether or not to thank her for the Starbucks latte she had delivered earlier.

Phone call finished, she said, "That was Stoney Chase. He cancelled your three o'clock. Family emergency. You're rescheduled for next Tuesday same time."

Good. He could actually use more time on the Chase campaign. "I'm on my way out to meet Thackeray. Reservation all set?"

"Your favorite booth at noon." Cynthia picked up a rubber band and for a moment, Brian thought she might take aim.


"You're welcome, Brian."

Brian nodded almost imperceptibly and put on his sunglasses. "I should be back by two."

Justin - 12:00 pm

Justin and Daphne were in their usual lunch spot, high above one of the long green fields that bordered St. James.

"So what are you going to do?" Daphne sucked on a juice box and swung her bare feet against the ivy-covered wall. It was the second time she'd asked the question.

Justin stopped pacing, tugged irritably at his tie and gave the grass a final kick before plopping down next to her. "I don't know what else to do." He hung his head and stared glumly at Daphne's iridescent toenails sparkling in the sun - they looked like fish darting through the shallows.

"I know he wants me. He just won't. . . he keeps . . . aargh!" Justin threw himself back onto the grass with a loud whump and covered his face.  "Why, why, why am I so obsessed? Something's gotta be wrong with me.  Maybe I have a brain tumor."

Laughing, Daphne scooted back and pried his fingers away from his face so he could see her, "You don't have a brain tumor, you freak. Why shouldn't you be obsessed with him? He's hot. He's funny. He's smart." She teased his ear with a blade of grass. "If he were even one tenth straight, I'd be trying to fuck him."

Lightning-quick, Justin rolled on top of her. "You! You're supposed to be my best friend!" Daphne tried to push him off before he started tickling, but it was too late and they ended up rolling around, wrestling and tickling, completely oblivious of the mess they were making of their uniforms.

Noticing that they'd rolled dangerously close to the edge, Justin called a truce and sat up. Across the wide lawn, a hawk circled high above a stand of birch and maple trees. "I'm going after him, Daph, and I won't stop till I get him."

They spent the remainder of their lunch period scheming and plotting.

Brian - 12:10 pm

Brian sat in his favorite booth at Sartre's, The New York Times open in front of him. It was essentially just a prop because he certainly wasn't reading it. Microsoft's latest exploits couldn't seem to hold a candle to Justin's perfect pink cock. It was with immense relief that he saw the waiter leading Mark Thackeray to his corner of the restaurant. He folded the paper and stood up to greet him. Mark was an old client and one of the few people he actually liked.

"Brian, sorry I'm late. I flew in from England yesterday, and the jet lag is kicking my ass." He shook Brian's hand and asked for water before sitting down.

"Don't worry about it, Mark. I was just catching up on the financial news.  Was it business or pleasure?"

"Pleasure. My son started Eton College."

Brian raised an appreciative brow. "An Eton boy."

"Yes, and now I've joined the ranks of equally broke Eton dads."

The waiter returned with Mark's water and took their orders. Mark ordered the salmon with cream sauce and Brian ordered the spinach salad and, as an afterthought, asked the waiter to toss in some grilled eggplant, the specialty of the house.

"So how broke?" Brian asked picking up the thread of their conversation.

"$45,000 a year."

Brian winced. "Ouch. And that's for five years, right?"

"Yeah, and then I get to pay for Cambridge."

"Lucky kid." What he wouldn't have given to have had that kind of opportunity. He'd worked two and three jobs at a time just to afford tuition and rent. If it hadn't been for Deb's care packages he'd have gotten scurvy.

"Do they still wear those top hats?"

"No, no," Mark laughed, "that's not part of the uniform any more.  Here.  I just happen to have a picture." He winked as he slid a photo from his wallet. "They still wear the morning coat and vest, but not the hat."

Brian studied the snapshot. A sandy-haired boy in a tailcoat and pinstriped trousers smiled at him from the foot of an ancient stone bridge. There were medieval spires in the distance.

"Does he like wearing the suit?" Brian thought the white collar looked somewhat confining.

"My wife's father is an Old Etonian," Mark explained. "He's filled Andy's head with tales of his Eton days since he was a baby. When Andy was seven, all he wanted for Christmas was his own uniform. Drove his mother crazy until she had one special made. Do you know the history of the uniform?"

Brian shook his head no, and as Mark gave him an overview of not just the uniform, but the whole Eton experience, Brian's thoughts, once again, took off on their own.

Justin had a school uniform. At first, Brian hadn't thought too much about it. But after one particularly hot fuck in the diner's bathroom, when he'd taken Justin against the wall, grey trousers around his ankles, tie ruined and unraveled around his neck, he'd developed a bit of a taste for it.  Recently, he'd been having increasingly nasty thoughts about deserted classrooms and detentions. Was corporal punishment still allowed? How about sitting in the corner with a cock ring on? Was eggplant a fucking aphrodisiac? He adjusted the napkin in his lap and crossed his legs.


"Oh. Sorry. Your story triggered thoughts about my own . . . youth." He took a sip of water and wiped his mouth dry.

They got down to business after that and as usual, Brian wowed his client.  Over coffee, Mark signed on all the dotted lines and invited him to stay at his country home in Surrey the next time he traveled to England.

After they said their goodbyes, Brian got into the Jeep and started the engine. But he didn't put it into reverse. Instead, he drummed his fingers on the steering wheel and considered. He couldn't believe what he was thinking. It was completely absurd. No, he was not going to drive to St. James. No, he was not. What he was going to do, was head straight for the baths to fellate and fornicate until he regained his sanity.

As he waited to turn out of the parking lot, an image of Justin on his hands and knees, smiling back at him over his shoulder suddenly blind sided him. A horn blared behind him, and without hesitation, he made a left instead of a right.

Ten minutes later he was parked on a leafy side street, studying the school.  In one of his post-coital rambles, Justin had told him about the art classroom on the third floor. There was a small room off the main room where he liked to hide out and sketch. Brian glanced at the dashboard clock: school let out in thirty-five minutes. That he knew this, pained him deeply.

Was he really going to do this? People went to jail for shit like this.  Besides he didn't even have a plan. Taking a deep breath, he got out of the car, crossed the street and strode up the steps like he was Andrew fucking Carnegie himself.

Justin - 2:30 pm

Startled out of his reverie by a pencil poke to the ribs, Justin turned to see Daphne discreetly pointing at their teacher, Mr. Blackwell.

Justin looked to the front of the room. "Um, can you please repeat the question?" Most of the class watched in amusement, glad not to be in the hot seat.

"Alexander the Great, Mr. Taylor. What exactly made him so great?"

"Um," Justin cast about for what he knew of the man. His mother slept with snakes, he fucked guys, and he was supposed to be short. "Uh, he was really young when he conquered the world?"

Mr. Blackwell waited.

"And, um, he fought a lot of different armies and always kicked ass? He also-"

"Thank you, Mr. Taylor. That will do. What I think you're trying to say, is that he's recognized as one of the most brilliant military tacticians in history."

"Exactly." Justin nodded enthusiastically. "Like Julius Caesar and Ghengis Khan."

"Yes. Quite." Mr. Blackwell spared him a smile before turning to the blackboard to write out the title of their next writing assignment: "Alexander - Daring or Destiny?" "It's due next Friday, and I want at least ten pages, not including foot notes." He raised his voice to be heard above the groans. "You may read for the remainder of class."

"Thanks, Daph," Justin whispered as he hauled his History text out of the backpack at his feet.

"All I know is you better get laid soon, or-"

"Daph!" Justin looked around furtively, but no one was paying them any attention. "I told you, I'm going to. I was reviewing my plan of attack."

"Yeah, you and Alexander. Should I start calling you Justin the Great?"

Justin thought about pulling her hair, but opened his book instead. Daring or Destiny. Why not Daring and Destiny? He nodded thoughtfully.  Yeah, why the hell not?

Brian - 2:35 pm

Standing back from the doorway, Brian surveyed the school's main office. It was a Friday afternoon and staffing appeared to be minimal. He could only see two people - a frumpy secretarial-type working on a computer, and a student assistant studying at the front desk. He was an insolent-looking kid with black, spiky hair and more than a hint of the other side of the tracks.  Bingo.

Brian sauntered into the office, heading straight for the person who was going to make this all happen for him. As he anticipated, the kid was a savvy negotiator and five crisp twenties later, Brian gained admission into one of Pittsburgh's elite schools. Better late than never, right?

Justin - 2:40 pm

Justin was pretending to read when the classroom door opened. He glanced up and saw Beckett, one of the office assistants slouching in. Beckett was a junior who'd recently transferred in on a scholarship, and word on the street was that he lived in an apartment with his alcoholic grandmother. He watched Beckett hand Mr. Blackwell a note. The teacher glanced at it briefly. "Mr. Taylor. You're wanted in the office."

What the fuck? Daphne shot him a questioning look and Justin shrugged his shoulders.

Mr. Blackwell looked at the clock. "You might as well take all your things with you. The day's almost done."

Justin gathered up all his stuff and followed Beckett into the hallway. When the classroom door had shut behind them, Beckett grabbed his arm and leaned in. Justin thought he smelled Doritos. "Here." Beckett thrust another note at him. "You better not fucking tell anyone about this."  He spun on his heel and skulked away. Confused, Justin looked after him then looked down at the note in his hand - it was stapled shut. He looked up again, but Beckett had just disappeared through the double doors at the end of the hall.

Hmm. He tore the note open. "Art classroom now."

Justin glanced around the corridor. He was alone. His first thought was that Hobbes was behind this, but then he remembered that there was an away game that evening and by now, Hobbes and most of his cronies were on their way to Harrisburg.

He looked back down at the piece of paper in his hand, considering what to do. In the end, curiosity won out over suspicion, and he climbed the stairs to the third floor.

Brian - 2:45 pm

Brian lit a joint and blew the smoke out the window. Nice spread. Field hockey, soccer and football fields. This was nothing like the schools he'd attended. Most of them had been down the street from steel mills. He'd gotten his education in the thick of belching smoke, concrete, and miles of chainlink.

He heard the door open, but didn't turn. "This is nice. I can see why you like it up here."


Brian looked over his shoulder and saw Justin standing in the doorway, mouth agape. "Shut the door, and use that chair to wedge it." Brian waved to one of the two chairs in the room.

"What are you doing here?" Justin hadn't moved.

"I was in the neighborhood." If the kid couldn't read between the lines, he had no business in AP courses. "The chair, Justin."

Rousing himself to action, Justin secured the door and joined Brian at the window.

"Here." Brian offered Justin a toke.

Justin looked momentarily panicked. "Shit, Brian, I could get expelled for this."

"Relax. School lets out in ten minutes, and the janitor's already done this floor."

"Did he see you?" Justin looked anxiously behind him.

"No one saw me, now shut the fuck up and take a hit. Or better yet . . ."  Brian curled his fist around Justin's tie and pulled him close. Placing the lit end of the joint between his teeth, he leaned forward and shotgunned the smoke into Justin's mouth. He blew a thick, steady stream and Justin inhaled every bit of it without coughing. The boy was a quick study.

After a few more hits each, Brian stubbed the roach out on the sill and sat down in the wooden chair he'd dragged in from the outer classroom. It was sturdy and well-suited for today's purpose. He unbuckled his belt, pulled down his zipper and slid out of his pants just enough to give Justin full access. "Okay, Mr. Taylor, time to test your oral competencies. I'm particularly interested in the fundamentals of ball play and how they relate to the finer points of tongue-work."

Justin - 2:55 pm

No underwear. Brian wasn't wearing underwear. Harder than he'd been all day, Justin dropped to the floor, eager to demonstrate his skills. What had Brian said? Oh yeah, balls. He leaned close and inhaled, the dark spice between Brian's legs making his head spin. Maybe he shouldn't have taken that last hit. Reverently, he traced the rough little ridge atop Brian's scrotum with his tongue, breathing in the sweat and heavy musk. Heaven.

Wanting more, he pushed closer and sucked one ball then the other into his mouth. They were warm and plump and he sucked as hard as he dared, then released them, feeling them tighten and twitch against his lips. Eyes closed, he did it again and again, concentrating on making Brian's balls dance. He nosed under and rooted back as far as he could, but Brian's ass was woefully out of reach.

Dizzy with lust and desire, he forgot about his instructions and licked his way up Brian's dick. God, he loved this cock. He kissed the silky cockhead over and over, lapping up the salty liquid as soon as it appeared, squeezing and priming Brian's balls for more. There was never, ever enough.

Brian tensed then and shifted his thighs further apart. Justin knew what this meant. Brian wanted him to take his cock all the way down. It had taken weeks of sucking to learn how to do it, but he'd gotten pretty good at it.  Right now though, he was having a little trouble, and Brian must have sensed it because he sat back slightly and smoothed his hand down the back of Justin's head. The reprieve only made Justin more determined and he surged forward until his nose was buried in the crinkly softness of Brian's pubic hair. This earned him a groan and a "fuck, yeah" and the rush that came with this was something he wanted forever.

Brian and Justin - 3:30 pm

Some time later, it could have been years for all Justin knew, he felt Brian tugging on his hair. "Time for your next test. Take off your pants."

Reluctantly, Justin pulled off and rested his head on Brian's thigh, taking deep breaths to clear his head.

"Mr. Taylor, you have just lost one letter grade for dawdling."

Smiling, Justin reached up to loosen his tie, but Brian stayed his hand.  "Not that. Leave your shirt and tie on."

Ah. So that was the game. Finally on his feet, Justin took his shoes off and pulled down his pants, revealing that he'd come in his underwear.

"Well, well, well. What do we have here?" Brian reached into Justin's briefs and wrapped his hand around the warm, sticky dick. "You really are seventeen, aren't you Mr. Taylor?"

"Yeah, but that just means there's always more." Looking him in the eye, Justin placed his hand on top of Brian's and used it to jack himself. "See what I mean, Mr. Kinney?" The room was quiet except for their breathing and the sound of Brian's hand on Justin's dick.

Enough. Brian wanted to fuck. He kicked his shoes off, shed his pants and snapped a condom into place. "It's time to show me your riding skills, Mr. Taylor. Extra credit for speed and agility."

Justin wasted no time. In seconds, he was in Brian's lap and seconds after that, Brian's cock was buried deep. Where it belonged. Panting with his effort, he looked down at his belly expecting to see some evidence, some hint of Brian's dick in his body. He knew it was crazy, he knew that Brian's cock wasn't going to ram all the way through him and show itself. But he wanted it to. Fuck yes, he wanted it to. Stoned, definitely stoned.

Impatient for Justin to start moving, Brian bounced him twice to get his attention. Justin let out a little laugh and focused on the task at hand. Gripping the back of the chair for leverage, he began his ride. It was rough and feverish and his sounds of guttural joy were counterpoint to the staccato beat of the chair legs. God help them if there was anyone on the second floor.

He clutched Brian fiercely, bucking, thrusting, biting, gasping low moans of pleasure into his mouth. And when he came, it was so fucking good, it threatened to undo him completely. But Brian held him together, held him and held him as he shook and shuddered through his orgasm.

When they were both coherent and able to talk, Justin told Brian about his nocturnal adventures. "I've been dreaming about you."

"Oh yeah? Am I pounding your tight little ass?"

"No." Justin licked some come off Brian's cheek, then wiped it dry with his tie. "You're kind of lying on top of me and . . . moving."

Brian frowned. "Like frottage?"

"Yeah, maybe, but it's more like you're trying to get inside me. Your whole body. You're trying to get your whole body inside me."

Brian stroked the fine, silky hair under Justin's arm and listened. He usually liked his sex without conversation, but this kid was like some kind of fucking oracle. Brian considered how fucked he was.

"Okay cowboy, time to dismount."

"Not yet." Justin hated this part.

"It's getting late."

Justin looked out the window and noted the change in the afternoon light.  How long had they been here? Sighing, he held onto Brian's shoulders and stood up slowly, feeling Brian slip away. He really hated this part.  Stepping back, he stumbled on one of the discarded shoes and lost his balance.

"Whoops." Brian reached out and steadied him, then slapped him affectionately on the ass.

They dressed in easy silence, disposed of all incriminating evidence and exited the school, with none the wiser. On their way to the Jeep, Justin managed to convince Brian not only to put the top down, but to take him to dinner as well.

As they sailed across the St. Clair bridge, a sudden wind came off the river and rocked the vehicle violently. Brian put a reassuring hand on Justin's thigh, and at that moment, Justin decided he was the happiest he'd ever been.

Brian - 4:45 pm

Brian pulled the diner door open and frowned at the tinkle of the bell. One of these days he was going to take a hammer to that annoying piece of shit.  And if that wasn't enough to herald their arrival, Debbie's bellow certainly guaranteed that every last fag would look their way. Brian grimaced. Was he really with someone that prompted others to yell "Sunshine!" in crowded, public places? Motherfucking Christ.

Chattering happily, Debbie followed them all the way to the back booth. "The Pink Plate Special is Beef Stroganoff. Get it? Beef Strokin' Off? I thought of it this morning." She looked back and forth between them, delighted with herself. Her t-shirt du jour matter-of-factly announced that "Sodomy Ain't For Sissies". It was a wonder that Michael wasn't even more fucked up than he was.

"Deb, you never fail to amaze me." Brian smiled sweetly and Deb started to smile back, then decided he was being a twat and gave him the finger instead. Turning to Justin, she ramped her smile back up to maximum wattage.  "So sweetie, what'll it be?"

"I'll take the special."

"Daring little shit, ain't you?" Debbie wrote the order down, shaking her head.

"Hey." Brian prodded Justin's hand with a fork. "You might want to eat light."

It wasn't embossed or printed on heavy vellum, but it was clear from Justin's smile, that he recognized an invitation when he heard one.

Justin - 11:45 pm

Sated and thoroughly satisfied, Justin flopped back on the bed relishing the sweet ache in his ass. Brian had just fucked the holy crap out of him.  Again. They'd fucked twice since they'd left the diner. How many times had he come today? Two after dinner plus the fuck and blow job at school made four. If he counted the two dreams and the hand jobs, then . . .

He was asleep before he could finish the count and slept soundly for the first time in days.

Brian - 12:30 am

Brian lit his third cigarette in half an hour and blew smoke ring after smoke ring into the blue-washed dark. Frowning, he glanced at Justin's sleeping form. There he was. Again. How had this happened? It was like Pod People or aliens had taken over his body. Maybe the kid knew voodoo, hypnosis, something. Grinding out his cigarette a little harder than necessary, he stretched out on his side to study the mystery beside him. One of Justin's hands was curled under his chin and his mouth was tipped in a slight smile. Brian resented the peace in which he so obviously slept. Gus slept like that - unencumbered and completely entitled.

He watched Justin for a long time before finally drifting off, and when he woke in the morning, he felt better than he had in days.

Justin - Two and a half years later - 10:30 am

Cross-legged in a warm square of sunshine, Justin sat on the loft floor scanning the classifieds for good deals on furniture. They were up to three floor pillows and an ottoman. Ted had given them an old love seat that had been in a guest bedroom, and Brian had tolerated it for all of two days before calling The Salvation Army. Fucking queen. Justin smiled fondly as he sipped his coffee.

He was about to turn the page, when some large, bold print caught his eye.  St. James was having a sale. He read the ad twice then jumped up, grinning.  What were the chances that they'd be selling some of those old, wooden chairs? Probably pretty good since the school had been filled with them.

He checked the time. If he hurried, he could get down to the school, bring the chair back to the loft and still make it on time to pick Brian up from his interview.

The sale was being held in the cafeteria, and just as he'd suspected, there was a surplus of chairs. But he only needed one, and for ten dollars, it was the best deal he'd seen in a long time.

When they got back to the loft later that afternoon, Brian spotted the chair immediately. "What the fuck is that?" Pure disdain. Justin marveled at how well Brian did it. He watched Brian circle the chair warily as if it might suddenly start breeding and produce similarly unsightly offspring.

"Well?" Brian looked up at him, arms crossed, waiting for an explanation.  

"Don't you recognize it?"

Brian looked back down, frowning.

"Maybe this will jog your memory." Justin pulled a yellow, blue and red striped tie out of his pocket. He'd bought it at the sale for fifty cents.

It was obvious that Brian recognized the tie. And when he sat down, it was obvious that he'd recognized the chair.

"Mr. Taylor. Are you ready for your comprehensive final?"

Looping the tie around his neck, Justin crossed the space between them and straddled Brian's lap. "Do your worst, Mr. Kinney, do your worst."


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