Live Action Short

  Author's notes:  Written expressly for r.c. mclachlan.  Much love and
gratitude to the ever-generous, firehead30, for her willingness to put aside
her life and help make this a better fic.

Screencap courtesy of KWAF.


It was near dusk and starting to rain when they emerged from the subway onto the corner of Spring Street and Sixth Avenue.

"Shit!" Brian muttered, looking around for the closest place to take shelter. "I left the umbrella on the train. Come on!" He grabbed Justin's elbow and propelled him across the street, ignoring blaring cab horns and angry brakes, to take cover under the nearest awning. They ended up in the entryway of a corner market, crowding close to bouquets of sunflowers and over-priced watermelons so that equally hurrying customers could get by them.

They'd spent most of the day dodging rain showers as they'd gone from two Brooklyn galleries to a student art exhibition at Columbia, and most recently to a Nepalese Folk Festival in Central Park to watch one of Justin's friends perform native dance.

The weekend was running its usual course. Per their long-standing, informal agreement, Saturdays were Justin's day to plan and Sunday's were Brian's. This meant that on Saturday they were usually out roaming the five boroughs, whereas Sundays were primarily reserved for indoor activities, the exception being the occasional fire escape fuck of which Brian had grown exceedingly fond. As had some of Justin's neighbors.

They'd fallen into this pattern early on in their long-distance relationship and it was comfortable, and Justin thought, comforting to both of them.

"They sell umbrellas," Justin pointed out as a tattooed woman in a vintage cocktail dress squeezed by them, biting the tag off her new purchase before stepping out into what was now a proper downpour.

"What time's the movie?" Brian asked, glancing at his watch.

"Seven thirty."

A fellow artist in one of Justin's collectives had recently made a short film, thanks to a Guggenheim grant, and was hosting an informal screening for the collective members and his friends.

"Let's go buy another crappy umbrella," Brian sighed, holding the door open for Justin to enter the store. The one he'd left on the train had been a battered relic that Justin had unearthed in one of his closets, and Brian had been bitching about it all day.

The umbrellas were in the back next to the brooms and cleaners, and Brian quickly made his choice. Justin, however, spun the rounder several times before finally choosing his. It was yellow and near-fluorescent.

"Is that really necessary?" Brian asked, eyeing the umbrella with a mixture of amusement and disdain.

"You suck at sharing," Justin replied, deliberately ignoring the jibe at his color choice. "My left side's been wet all fucking day."

"Well, I'm not paying for it," Brian pronounced.

"Whatever," Justin laughed and pushed by him to head for the counter. As he reached for his billfold, he realized it was the first time that day.

It was raining harder than ever when they went back outside. Opening his umbrella, Justin ran out onto the sidewalk, grinned back at Brian and spun it so that it twirled rapidly above his head.

"It reminds me of the one my grandmother bought for me when I was seven," he said, raising his voice to be heard above the roar of the rain.

"Don't let the nurture camp hear you say that," Brian yelled back, "it'll set us back half a century."

"Don't worry. She may have paid for it, but this natural born queer picked it out all by himself."

Joining him on the sidewalk, Brian butted Justin's umbrella out of the way and pulled him under his classic, black one. He kissed him then, in praise and approval of young Justin's self-determination then released him with a slap on the ass.

"Just remember if you start singing and hanging off street lights, I'm out of here."

Their light-hearted mood continued as they walked the eight blocks to the theater - playfully hitting each other's umbrellas, using them to shake raindrops out of summer-green branches, stepping in puddles a little harder than
necessary. As Brian had bitterly announced by ten that morning, his shoes were shot to shit anyway.

The theater was in the basement of an old brownstone, its grimy windows filled with rainbow flags, prayer candles and homemade signs advertising, among other things, Authentic Cactus Massage and Spiritual Pedicures.

With just five minutes to spare, they grabbed two red wines from a circulating waiter and made their way through the dense knot of movie goers to the screening room beyond. It was filled with bean bags and lava lamps bubbling cheerfully on what looked like produce crates.

"Charming," Brian observed and led Justin to the far corner of the room. After they'd settled in, he asked, "What's this about again?"

"The evolution of gay man. It's called Homo Homo Sapiens."

Brian snorted and rolled his eyes. "And you're in it?"


"Big or small part?"

"Definitely big."

Brian made an appropriately impressed face. "Can I still fuck you after you become a superstar?"

"Even after I win my tenth Oscar." Justin sealed his promise with a kiss that was interrupted by the sound of a microphone being tested.

"That's Seth, the guy who made the film," Justin said, pointing to a tanned blond in white.

"Hmm," Brian said, obviously liking what he saw. "Fucked him yet?"

"No," Justin said, a note of regret in his voice. "He's monogamous."

After a short intro, the lights went down and for the next twenty-nine minutes, they were treated to Seth's cinematic vision. It was a provocative montage of black and white cartoons depicting gay man through the ages:
Cro-Magnon clubbing their women so they could mount their Neanderthal cousins, gladiators fighting for the right to top, Victorian gentlemen groping each other discretely in botanical gardens. Sprinkled throughout, were dozens of erect human penises portraying mankind's most phallic creations: obelisks, totem poles, skyscrapers, watchtowers.

After the credits had rolled, the crowd broke into enthusiastic clapping and whistles, and Justin had to lean in close to be heard. "So?"

"So, I think I want the silo's phone number."

"No staying power," Justin said dismissively. "So?" he asked again.

"The shuttle and the submarine."

"One more."

"There were only two," Brian said, helping Justin to his feet.

"There were three." Smiling smugly, he led the way across the bean-bag strewn room to say hello to Seth.

"Justin! I'm glad you made it. And," Seth said, looking at Brian, "is this who I think it is?"

Justin nodded. "Seth, this is my partner, Brian Kinney. Brian, this is Seth Sabin."

"Nice . . . camera work," Brian said, shaking Seth's hand.

"Thanks," Seth laughed and turned to Justin. "Did he guess? That seems to be the question of the night."

"He missed one."

"No, I didn't," Brian said. "There were only two."

"Looks like someone knows your dick better than you do," Seth said, winking at Justin.

"I thought I was one of the Kuala Lumpur towers," Justin said, frowning.

"I wound up using Billy's dick for the right tower," Seth explained. "He got me front row tickets for the Rufus concert next week."

"That's show business," Brian said, patting Justin's back. "One minute you're up, the next . . . Billy's cock is."

After another round of wine and some requisite mingling, they were preparing to leave when Justin realized his umbrella was missing. He turned to go find it, but Brian stopped him.

"I gave it to the dyke in the Orson Welles T-shirt while you were in the bathroom. She said she had a fifteen block walk."

Looking pointedly at the umbrella Brian was still holding, Justin said, "I notice you didn't give her yours."

Brian shrugged a non-answer and opened the theater door, then opened his umbrella. He put his arm around Justin's waist and pulled him in tightly. "I promise not to hog it."

And he didn't. Mostly.




Sunday morning dawned clear and cloudless. Naked at his bedroom window, Justin craned his neck to see the only patch of visible sky among all the brick. It was a deep, washed blue.

"It's beautiful out, but let me guess," he said, smiling impishly at Brian who was spread out on the bed reading the newspaper, "we're staying in?"

Brian took a sip of coffee and turned the page. "It's Sunday, isn't it?"

Sighing in mock-resignation, Justin retrieved the comforter from under the bed. It had been a casualty of their first fuck of the day, a surprisingly athletic one considering it had been pre-dawn.

"Are you going to fuck me all day?"

"Yes. But first I'm going to finish the paper."

"Fine, but at least read something interesting." Taking a running leap, Justin jumped onto the bed, yanked the financial section out of Brian's hands and threw it to the floor. "Here. Read this. It's an article about Berlin and the Modern Hedonist they've been trumpeting all week."

Settling himself at Brian's side, he poked him in the ribs. "Read it out loud."

As Brian read, Justin explored Brian's body paying particular attention to his hair - the sparse strands at his nipples and chest, the long silk under his arm, the dark fuse leading to the wiry softness at his groin that smelled like the both of them. He rested his cheek on Brian's thigh and closed his eyes, absurdly happy to just lie there and listen and breathe.

He woke to a gentle hand in his hair.

"I'm used to guys drooling over my dick, but this is ridiculous."

Smiling sleepily, Justin wiped Brian's leg dry, stretched then laid his head back down on Brian's hip.

"How long was I asleep?" Justin asked, nudging Brian's dick out of the way so he could nuzzle his testicles. He closed his eyes and concentrated on the way they moved under his lips, their taste and smell, like home.

"Twenty minutes. Decadence and debauchery, Justin's Taylor's lullaby," Brian teased as he brushed the hair out of Justin's eyes.

"It's getting long," Brian murmured.

"It certainly is," Justin said, smiling his way up Brian's dick. He licked a slow spiral around the shaft, then blew gently, satisfied when it twitched in response.

"Are you going to suck me off or play with your food?" Brian asked, his hand tightening on Justin's scalp.

"Neither. I want to watch."

"When did you become such a mitten queen?" Brian's eyes were dark now.

"You started it," Justin replied, referring to their first sex act.

He scooted up the bed to sit astride Brian's thighs, bent over and let a long stream of warm saliva fall out of his mouth. It landed unerringly on Brian's dick and Justin closed his hand around it then looked up into Brian's eyes.

He stroked once, waiting for Brian's reaction. Then again. And once more until . . . there. Brian's mouth opened and his eyes closed.

"Keep them open, or I'll stop."

Brian complied with a grimace and Justin rewarded him by slightly increasing his tempo.

"Your hand's . . . rough," Brian groaned, arching into Justin's fist.

"Mmm," Justin agreed. "My new series. I'm using sand for texture. Like it?"

"Yeah," Brian gasped and Justin tightened his grip. He was an expert at giving Brian pleasure and knew that despite all of Brian's mocking about his affinity for hand jobs, he loved them.

After nearly an hour of keeping Brian on the brink, Justin moved in for the kill, pausing briefly to spit in his palm one last time. Jerking Brian faster and faster, he alternated between watching Brian's face, flushed, beautiful and dark, to watching his cock, darker still and huge in his hand.

"Look at me," Justin breathed.

With a strangled sound, Brian opened his eyes and Justin saw the quickening in them, sensed the tensing, felt the pain in his thigh as Brian's fingers dug in. There. There. And Brian came, shooting high into the air, thick come for Justin to catch and savor. Like a farm cat. Three times, four times until Brian fell back on the bed, shuddering and spent.

But Justin wasn't finished; he wanted all of Brian's come and squeezed the base of his cock to get it, milking upwards, drawing it out until he was rewarded with a rush of pearly drops. He lapped them out of Brian's slit,
tongue eager and insistent, ignoring the way Brian jerked and cursed.

Achingly hard and wanting, needing, immediate relief, Justin crawled up Brian's body to kneel at his face, trembling and breathing harshly, but still present enough to joke, ". . . live from the big screen."

"And you wonder how I knew which ones were yours," Brian said, wiping sweat out of his eyes. "Considering how often you shove it in my-"

"Shut up," Justin whispered and pushed himself into Brian's mouth. He thrust carefully, restraining himself, waiting. Waiting for Brian to position his head so he could slide all the way in, all the way down. Brian never made him wait long, and seconds later, Justin felt the shift, felt the hands at his hips urging him on, giving him permission to fuck as hard as he wanted.

To fuck Brian's face as hard as he wanted. To fuck his throat as hard as he wanted. To fuck his face as hard as he-

His orgasm took him with a force that nearly knocked him off his knees. Crying out, he fell forward, clutching Brian to him, senseless, blind and moaning. His body convulsing with pleasure, holding on to the only thing that mattered. No one else. No one else.

No one else.

When he came back to himself, he was on the bed, a pillow under his head and Brian's hands were combing through his hair; Brian's lips, scarlet and bruised, were tipped in a smile. The last thing Justin remembered before
falling asleep was Brian making a joke of his own, ". . . a performance worthy of Peter O'Toole."

This was how their Sundays usually went. Sex followed by sleep followed by sex. Long, lyrical conversations consisting of few words. Their love-making, ferocious. It was like being seventeen all over again, Justin thought. Like they both were. Like they both wanted to feel each other long after they'd separated and resumed their separate lives.




When Justin woke up on Monday morning, Brian was gone, having left early for a meeting in Pittsburgh. As he prepared for his day, Justin found the usual traces Brian left behind - a damp towel smelling of his soap, an empty mug in the kitchen sink, a hundred-dollar bill on the refrigerator attached by a post-it that read: "Buy decent coffee."

For the first few hours every time, he missed Brian fiercely, and he consoled himself with the knowledge that the feeling would ebb as the hours ticked by, his daily routine, a balm. By evening, he would be back to normal. Mostly.

Monday afternoons were typically slow at the art supplies store and he was behind the counter reading a new Francis Bacon biography when Eric rushed up, whispering excitedly, "You're not going to believe who just came in! Golosov!"

Justin looked to the front of the store and saw a wild-haired man in a black trench coat and purple garden clogs.

"No way!" Justin's whisper was just as excited. "He's supposed to be a total recluse."

"I know! But he comes in here two or three times a year. He never buys anything, just rants and raves that nobody ever has anything he wants, then storms out. Two years ago, he threw a box of charcoal at Charlie." Eric's voice had dropped as Golosov came closer, but Justin still heard the apprehension.

"I'll help him," he said, stowing his book under the counter and walking out to meet the approaching man.

"May I help you?"

Golosov glowered at him from under bushy eyebrows. "I need paint the color of four-year-old blood."

Hesitating for only a fraction of a second, Justin asked, "Mammal, reptile or piscine?"

Golosov's eyes narrowed, and for a moment Justin feared the explosion was at hand, but then he smiled, revealing a set of astonishingly white teeth.


"This way." Justin turned and walked briskly up the nearest aisle.

On instinct and having no clear idea of what he was going to show the man, he headed for the oils on the far side of the store. Stopping in front of the reds, he began to explain that to achieve that particular color, he'd have to mix Red #47 with Brown #9 in a six to one ratio and after, not before, he'd need to add Green #6 by the half ounce until he got the desired effect.

As he talked, Justin realized he was actually making sense. Last year, he'd accidentally stumbled onto a combination of colors that had looked like old blood. Recalling it, he had no clue if it had looked days or decades old, or for that matter, if it had looked remotely reptilian. He had a sudden vision of a human-sized lizard crucified on a cross, religious imagery being one of Golosov's recurrent themes.

Hearing a grunt that sounded like an assent followed by another of those incongruent smiles, Justin picked out the appropriate colors and walked back to the register. It wasn't until Golosov extracted two surprisingly crisp one hundred-dollar bills from an animal hide pouch hanging from his belt that Justin fully relaxed.

"Excuse me, but I'm looking for edible body pai-"

Justin whirled around. "Brian!" He stood rooted to the spot for exactly three seconds, then broke into a huge grin and put his hands on Brian's chest.

"What are you doing here?"

"Meeting's over," Brian replied lightly.

"But," Justin looked at his watch, then looked back up, "how did you get back here so fast?"

"They're called cabs, and I think you'd like them. They're yellow."

"You shit!" Justin laughed and shoved him away. "I thought the meeting was in Pittsburgh!"

"I never said that. I said it was a morning meeting."

"You took your bag."

"I put it in the hall closet," Brian countered, amusement in his eyes.

"You should have-"

At that moment, Justin realized that all conversation had stopped behind him and turned to find Golosov and Eric watching them with unconcealed interest.

"Uh, I'm taking a break," Justin said and grabbed Brian by the arm, calling back as he made a beeline for the employee lounge. "Nice to meet you, Mr. Golosov! Let me know how it turns out."

"The Golosov?" Brian asked as he followed Justin through a labyrinthine stock room and up a narrow spiral staircase.

"Yeah," Justin said as he locked the door behind them. The room was filled with a collection of mismatched chairs and ottomans and was lit by dusty bars of sunlight slanting in through high-set windows.

"You wanted to surprise me." Justin's voice was soft.

"An astute observation and judging by your reaction, I think I succeeded."

Justin shook his head, smiling at Brian's romantic gesture, then noticed what he'd missed downstairs in his surprise and confusion. Brian was carrying a long, slender, black box tied with a silver ribbon.

A present. And by the shape of it, it was either the world's most dangerous dildo or an umbrella to replace the one Brian had given away on Saturday night.

"For me?" Justin asked with a flirty smile, taking the box out of Brian's hands. "Whatever can it be?" He held it to his ear and shook it.

Playing along, Brian replied, "I believe you're familiar with the time-honored tradition of opening a present to get to its gooey center?"

"I am indeed," Justin said and sat down on a low velvet chair to demonstrate his proficiency. After untying the ribbon and removing the top, he folded back silvery sheets of tissue paper to reveal an amber-colored umbrella with a richly-stained wood handle.

Laughing, he pulled it out. "But it's not Day-Glo yellow."

"No," Brian said. "It's Subtly Saffron, and it was hand-crafted in England by the original-"

It wasn't until much later that Justin learned all about his new umbrella - that the handle was teak and the hardware was brushed aluminum reinforced with Kevlar and that it was rated to fifty-five miles an hour. At the
moment, all he wanted was to kiss Brian and he launched himself into his arms. The fire he'd banked until next time, lit anew.

"What time's your flight?" Justin asked breathlessly.

"Seven, but the more pressing question is, how long's your break?"

"Don't worry about that."

Brian didn't appear too worried as he'd already removed his tie and was in the process of pushing furniture together.

"Wait," Justin said. "This works better."

Standing aside, Brian watched as Justin pushed three of the ottomans against the back wall, wedging them tightly between a bookshelf and a large radiator, making a snug, little fuck-nest.

"You've done this before," Brian said approvingly.

"A few times, but," Justin looked over his shoulder, smiling mischievously, "never on my back."

"It's a good thing I showed up then. Now you can scratch it off your to-do list."

They didn't have a protocol for Mondays, but Justin thought they did all right anyway. Their sex was feverish, urgent, and Justin was stirred to surrender completely, to open himself fully so Brian could fill every space inside him.

Their orgasms only fueled their need, and it wasn't until they'd made love a second time that they finally fell back, exhausted, limbs tangled and shining with sweat, the leather under their bodies, supple and warm.

They stayed like this, talking and laughing, until Justin's shift was nearly over, until the leather had cooled, until the light in the windows darkened past gold and it was time to get up and go home.




It rained nine times before they saw each other again, and Justin went out every single time, cocooned under his umbrella, remembering. Remembering how Brian had tasted on that long-ago Saturday, sweet with summer rain,
remembering his fragrance, deepened by heat and moisture, remembering the press of his body, constant, constant, against his.

When he'd first moved to New York, rainy days had made him melancholy and he'd holed up, brooding, wondering if he'd done the right thing. Now, rain had become a companion, an intimate, of sorts. One he looked forward to seeing and spending time with.




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