A Nocturne in Two Variations

Author's note: Love and gratitude to my beta, firehead30. She was

thorough, brilliant in her suggestions, and never hesitated to crack the whip.


It was a clear night, stars scattered across an ink-black sky. Moon on the wane.

Brian saw none of this as he slammed out of McGuire’s, startling the homeless guy sitting in front of the pawn shop next door. In his rage, he forgot the broken curb he’d avoided on the way in and lost his footing, half-falling into the street and twisting an ankle.

"Motherfucking piece of shit! Cunt neighborhood!" He grabbed a jagged hunk of concrete and hurled it as far as he could. In the distance, there was the sound of breaking glass, and it made him want to throw again. Just as he picked up another brick-sized piece, two women, blowsy and middle-aged, spilled out of the bar braying with laughter. Snorting in disgust, Brian dropped the concrete back into the gutter and crossed the street to the Jeep instead.

He peeled out of his parking space, accelerating all the way through the tight U-turn, but it wasn’t tight enough and he clipped the rear bumper of a large, silver truck, triggering the alarm. Laughing, he threw it into reverse and saw that the bum was on his feet now, doing some kind of weird dance and cheering him on, "Fuck, yeah! Go, motherfucker, go!"

Brian was only too happy to oblige and punched the gas, running two red lights before roaring onto the highway. He did eighty all the way to the bridge and didn’t ease up until he’d crossed the Susquehanna. The five miles he’d put between himself and Jack Kinney helped some, but the weight of him was still there, on his back, around his neck. A dense, black stone that had threatened to crush him for as long as he could remember.

Fucking faggot. That’s what his father had called him during their argument, betraying the fragile trust Brian had foolishly believed in. He wanted to get drunk. He wanted to forget the shame and disgust he’d seen in his father’s eyes.

At Babylon, he drank and fucked with a vengeance and when closing time came, he got back into the Jeep and did what he always did on nights like these. He drove to Mikey’s.

Doomed to repeat his miserable history because he never fucking learned.

On autopilot, he made the final turn into the alley, nearly crashing into a row of battered trash cans he didn’t remember. An old, grey tom ran for safety in the glare of his headlights and he swerved to avoid it, then skidded to a stop in the narrow space behind Debbie’s house.

Wincing as he got out of the Jeep, his ankle sore, he unlatched the gate and scooped up a handful of gravel. The little stones were dusty and the color of bones.

The house was silent and dark and he steadied himself against the trunk of the only tree in the yard before letting a small stone fly, his aim surprisingly true. Nothing happened, so he threw another. And another. Then three at once. Suddenly, the curtains parted and a figure appeared, but it wasn’t Mikey. Not dark enough, too light. For a second, Brian wondered if he was at the right house, then he remembered.

Justin lived here now.

Grinning, he watched as Justin struggled with the window. Knowing Debbie, it was probably painted shut. Her only skill with regard to painting was for applying it at an alarming speed. Precision? Not so much.

Deciding to have some fun and spur the kid on in the process, Brian threw another piece of gravel, causing Justin to jump and give him the finger.

"Fuck the window," Brian yelled. "Come downstairs and open the door!"

Three seconds later, a light came on in the other upstairs window and then Debbie was jerking her window open, no problem.

"Do you know what fucking time it is?" Her furious whisper lashed out at him, and for one surreal moment, Brian was reminded of a John Waters heroine all done up in a leopard-spotted negligee with pink, glowing backdrop.

Justin got his window open just in time to hear Brian’s off-key reply, "Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really caaaare?"

Astonished, Justin let out a laugh and somewhere nearby a dog started barking.

Brian bowed with a flourish, nearly losing his balance, but recovered quickly. "Hey Deb, does your no-tricks-after-midnight rule apply to the backyard too?"

Not waiting for a reply, he looked over at Justin. "Put your slippers on, Sunshine, and get your ass down here! Let’s fuck under the-" he gestured vaguely to the small tree and looked back at Debbie, "what kind of tree is this?"

But Debbie was gone, and they heard the bang of her bedroom door followed by the sound of a hurried, angry descent.

"Ooh, I’m gonna get it now," Brian said in an exaggerated whisper and Justin grinned from ear to ear before ducking inside to race down the stairs and claim his front row seat.

On cue, the porch light came on and Debbie strode down the back steps, pink bathrobe billowing behind her, Justin hot on her heels.

Hands in the air in sham surrender, Brian backed up and sat down under the tree with a grunt. Winking up at Justin, he patted the ground beside him. "It’s nice and soft here. Real easy on the knees."

"Get your ass up, you inconsiderate prick!" Debbie hissed as she grabbed him by the arm, trying to haul him upright, but Brian was dead weight and laughing.

"Are those flies on your peignoir?" Brian grabbed the hem of Debbie’s robe and peered at it closely.

"They’re fairies," Justin laughed and dropped to his knees at Brian’s side.

Across the alley, an angry voice yelled out, "Shut the fuck up or I’ll call the cops!"

Not missing a beat, Debbie yelled back, "You’re one to talk, Silvio Cacciatore! Your son’s goddamned band keeps the whole goddamned neighborhood awake till all hours of the night! It wouldn’t be so bad if they were any fucking good, but they suck!"

At her feet, Justin and Brian whooped.

Satisfied with her rejoinder, Debbie turned her attention back to Brian and huffed in exasperation when she saw that Justin was practically in his lap. "You’re not helping matters, mister," she snapped. "Get up and help me with the asshole."

It took them three tries to get Brian on his feet and into the house. Debbie kicked a chair out from under the kitchen table and they dropped him into it, leaving her free to put her hands on her hips and start in.

"One of these days, Brian Kinney, you’re going to kill yourself or worse, somebody else, driving drunk." Debbie reached into his jacket and retrieved his keys with practiced ease. "And then what the fuck are you going to do?"

Having no ready answer for that question, Brian ignored her and reached for his cigarettes. Finding the pack empty, he crumpled it with a curse and threw it into the living room where it bounced off a red, ceramic chicken that was perched on the coffee table.

"Watch it," Debbie cried out. "Those are discontinued!"

"There’s another one just like it in the upstairs bathroom," Justin said as he placed a glass of water on the table.

"What, in case I’m interested?" Brian sneered. "And what’s this? You think we’re at the diner?" Brian shoved the glass away, slopping half its contents all over the vinyl tablecloth.

"Come on, honey, drink it," Debbie said and held the glass out until he took it. In that instant, Brian knew that she’d guessed why he was there.

"Yeah, Brian," Justin chimed in. "It metabolizes the alcohol in your system. You need to drink at least eight ounces of water for every one ounce of alcohol you ingest."

Brian looked at him disbelievingly, but Justin forged on. "It helps to prevent the morning-after headache."

"What about the headache you’re giving me right now? Does it help to prevent that one?" But he drank all the water, albeit sullenly, and when Justin refilled his glass, he drank that down too.

"Gee. I think I’m metabolizing already," Brian said sweetly and tried to ignore the way Justin beamed at him, but it was hard to do, considering he was the brightest fucking thing in the room. Suddenly, he wanted nothing more than to go upstairs and lie down next to him. He stood up and slung his arm around Justin’s shoulders. "Let’s go to bed."

"You’re sleeping on the couch," Debbie said. "Justin, go upstairs and get some sheets out of the linen closet."

"Like hell I am," Brian laughed and started for the stairs pulling Justin with him.

Debbie put up her hands and barred their way. "The kid’s got a Physics test first thing tomorrow. He needs to sleep!"

"You think he’s going to sleep knowing I’m downstairs?" Brian asked without a trace of irony. "Besides, I’m not the one you should be talking to." He lifted Justin’s T-shirt, exposing the hard-on inside his sweat pants and arched an eyebrow in Debbie’s direction.

"Justin! You have a big test tomorrow," Debbie scolded him, glaring at his erection.

"I can’t help it! I’m seventeen, for fuck’s sake!" This defense was one Justin had used with varying degrees of success during the month he’d been living with her, and he held his breath, waiting for the verdict.

Debbie looked back and forth between them; Brian feigning disinterest, Justin about to combust. "Oh, what’s the use? You’ll be down here two seconds after I close my door." Grumbling about men and their dicks, she let them pass and went into the kitchen to turn the light off.

Upstairs, they took Brian’s clothes off, Brian snapping and snarling the whole time that he could do it himself, but Justin followed Debbie’s lead and ignored him, happily stripping him down to his briefs.

Under the covers at last, Brian looked up at Debbie and smiled ruefully. "Just like old times, huh?"

Debbie nodded tiredly. "You’ll never be the asshole he is, kiddo." She kissed him on the forehead then turned to Justin and stuck a finger in his face. "And you, young man, you better ace that test or you’ll wish you’d never-"

"I will! I swear," Justin laughed, steering her firmly out of the room. Once the door was shut, he took a deep breath and turned to contemplate the miracle in his bedroom. His most fervent wish come true. Ever since Brian had brought him back from New York, he’d been ignoring him. Justin had done everything in his power to get his attention, but Brian had steadfastly refused to take the bait.

Now, he was finally here but by the looks of it, he’d passed out and left Justin alone with his hard-on. He heaved a sigh at the injustice of it all.

Brian spoke without opening his eyes. "Stop acting like a princess and get into bed."

In a flash, Justin was at the night stand pulling out supplies, but Brian stayed his hand. "Just the lube." He didn’t want to fuck. He wanted to put Justin out of his misery and slip into sweet oblivion.

"We’re going to do it raw?" Justin squeaked.

"No, twat, and if you don’t hurry up, you can forget about the hand-job."

Disappointed, but desperate for whatever type of Brian-sex he could get, Justin tore his clothes off, turned out the light and scrambled eagerly onto the narrow bed. Brian pulled him close and kissed him then reached for Justin’s cock, but he’d barely tightened his grip on it when Justin gasped and came all over his hand.

"Seventeen, huh?" Brian teased as he waited for Justin’s orgasm to subside. He kissed him one last time then nudged him, urging him to turn over. Brian curled himself close and murmured, "I’ll kick your ass if you don’t ace that test. You hear me? I don’t want any more of her shit. I get enough of it, as it is."

"I’ll ace it. I promise."

Brian grunted in reply and Justin was about to ask what had happened to him tonight, when he heard Brian snoring quietly in his ear.

Sighing, Justin closed his eyes and wriggled contentedly, pushing back into the silky cotton of Brian’s underwear, loving the feel of his sleeping cock against his ass. He pressed Brian’s hand to his face and inhaled deeply, burying his nose in the moist flesh that smelled like both of them and fell asleep, happier than he’d been in a long time.

When Justin woke up the next morning, the sun was shining through the window and Brian was gone. He got up and looked into the backyard hoping to see the Jeep parked at the same drunken angle, but the only vehicle in the alley was Mrs. Murphy’s Plymouth.

He went to Woody’s that night to crow about his Physics grade, but Brian was back to his old routine and barely acknowledged him, saying "that’s great," before taking off after a tall brunet.

Three weeks later, Justin was lying in bed sketching a study for a portrait of Vic that he planned to give Debbie on her birthday, when he heard it. A scatter of gravel on glass. He flew to the window and pushed it up effortlessly. He’d cleaned the paint out of the track and used half a can of WD-40 in anticipation of this moment.

The backyard was bathed in moonlight and Brian stood at its center, a dark god in black leather, the tip of his cigarette flaring hot as he smoked. Taking one last drag, he dropped it to the grass and ground it out with slow, deliberate movements.

This time he wasn't wasted, this time he knew Justin would be there, this time he fell to his knees and sucked Justin off in the darkness of the kitchen before taking him upstairs to fuck him all night.

This time he stayed for breakfast.

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