Justin and Hunter were finishing up their respective shifts at the diner. Debbie had gotten Justin his job back after he was fired from Vanguard and suspended from school. He was one of the main waiters now and Michael and Ben got Hunter a job bussing tables. Hunter hated the menial work, but he had to admit it was better than hustling. For all his talk, he had hated his former profession. He always felt so dirty after being with tricks. He was starting to feel a part of a family. Everyone had been really nice to him, they even threw him a birthday party. No one had ever done that for him before.

Justin was at the counter counting his tips. Hunter walked up to him, and Justin handed him half the tips. "What's this for?"

"Your share, I didn't do all the work. That's what you're supposed to do, share the tips."

"Really? No one else has."

"Well that's because they're assholes. Try and get scheduled on my shift, I'll always share."

Hunter didn't know what to say, "Umm thanks."

Justin just smiled at him, "You're welcome. I remember when I started bussing tables. The only one who shared tips with me was Debbie."

"You used to bus tables here?"

"Yeah, I've worked here on and off for three years. Brian made me get the job when I had to pay him back some money."

Hunter looked at Justin. The two had never really talked, the few times they had been in each other's company, Justin treated him with disdain. Hunter figured that was because he was always coming onto Brian, who he now knew was Justin's boyfriend. "Umm Justin, can I ask you something?"


"What's it like having Brian as a boyfriend."

Justin was not expecting this, "What?"

"I mean he's so hot, and so cool, I was just wondering what it was like to be his boyfriend."

Justin eyed the teenager, he remembered what it was like to be wrapped up in the Brian Kinney illusion. "Do you want to come over?"

"To Brian's?"

"No, to my place."

"You don't live with Brian?"

"Justin laughed, "God no! We'd kill each other. I live with my friend Daphne."

"Umm, ok, let's go."


Half hour later the two were walking into Justin and Daphne's apartment. Justin hung up his coat, and went into the kitchen. "Do you want anything to drink?"

"Sure, a soda?"

Justin came back into the living room with two cans of soda, he handed one to Hunter and gestured for the teen to sit down. "So you want to know about being Brian Kinney's 'boyfriend?' First of all, he's not my boyfriend. We don't use those labels."

"But Brian said you were."

Justin was not expecting this, "What?"

"Yeah, that night I went to Brian's place after fucking that cop. When he took me back to Michael and Ben's place they accused me of fucking the cop to impress Brian. Then Michael said he had a boyfriend." Justin figured this was where Hunter got his signals crossed. Michael would have said that just to piss Brian off. "So when I asked him if he did, he said yes."

Justin was floored, maybe they had come farther than he thought. "Well, Brian and I have been together off and on for about three years."


"Yeah, I like to think we are on the third phase of our relationship. You see when I first met Brian, I was like you. I was in awe of his beauty, his demeanor, his arrogance … his image. I was only seventeen. So I pursued him like a lovesick teenager. For a while, he didn't want to have anything to do with me. He was usually a dick to me."

"Kind of how he treats me." Justin knew that he had to tread carefully. He remembered all to well those feelings, but Hunter needed to understand that Brian and Justin belonged to each other.

"He's like that with everyone until you get inside the family fold. I'll bet he's a lot nicer to you now than he was when you first met."

"Yeah he is, but he still treats me like a kid."

"He's 32, you're 16, you are a kid."

"Well you're only 20."

"Touche. If you ask anyone, Brian really didn't stand a chance when I started pursuing him. I wouldn't go away, and I wouldn't take no for an answer. Eventually he gave in, and stopped trying to get rid of me. I lived with him for about a month after my dad kicked me out. It didn't last long, and I eventually moved in with Deb and Vic. That's where I lived my senior year in high school."

Hunter didn't know this, "Really?"

"Yeah, they adopted me right away. During that time, Brian and I had a great time. I know now though, that was my childish exuberance and being more in love with Brian's image than Brian himself. We had a great time, and I really believed that I was in love. But when I look at it now, it was an illusion. I call that Phase One."

Hunter giggled. Somehow he could picture Justin following Brian around and annoying him until Brian finally gave up. "So what was Phase Two?"

Justin was quiet for a moment, "Phase Two came after I got hurt."

"What happened?"

"I invited Brian to my senior prom. He refused of course, but he eventually showed up, and we shared the most romantic dance. I really felt that he loved me. When we were leaving, a guy in my class, who had been bullying me all year, hit me in the head with a baseball bat."

"Oh my god. Are you ok?"

"Yes and no, it changed me forever. I no longer look at the world quite the same way, but you deal with the cards you're dealt. Anyway, Brian blamed himself, couldn't even face me. He would never visit me at the hospital when I was awake. He would just come at night and watch over me while I slept. I didn't know this until much later though. After I got out, my mom couldn't handle me. I had panic attacks and rages. The only person I felt remotely safe around was Brian, so I moved in with him. It was just supposed to be until I got better, but eventually he got used to having me around. Things were great for a while, but I always felt like I was walking on eggshells around him. I couldn't really speak up for what I wanted, I felt I just had to go along with whatever Brian did or wanted for fear I might get kicked out. Don't think I'm blaming him, my head was just a really weird place back then. Eventually I was following in his footsteps, drinking, drugs, tricks … you name it. At first it was really exciting, but I eventually got tired of it. I felt dirty and used everytime."

"That's how I felt when I was hustling," Hunter said quietly. Justin reached over and took Hunter's hand, a look of understanding passed between the two.

"The other thing was that after I got hurt, I couldn't read Brian anymore. Before the bashing, I could read Brian like a book. I could read between the lines, and see how he really felt. I lost that ability, and Brian pulled a few 'asshole' stunts and I started to question the entire relationship. I got tired, I wanted something simpler, I wanted romance and flowers and all that shit. I could no longer see all the things that Brian did for me. He loved me in his own way, but I had lost my ability to see it. Eventually I found someone who would give me romance and romantic sentiments and so I left Brian to be with him."

"You left Brian?!?!?" Hunter could not believe this.

"Yeah, I did. I went with a guy who I thought would give me everything I wanted. It was a great romance for a while, but he eventually cheated on me. When that happened, my eyes were opened for the first time in a long time. You see this guy promised me love and monogamy and all that shit. When he had his 'slip,' he couldn't understand why I wouldn't forgive him. He sealed his fate when he reminded me that I forgave Brian all the time. That was when I finally was able to see things again. All my powers to read Brian Kinney came flying back. Brian never lied to me or promised me things he wouldn't give. That knowledge was more important than any romantic sentiment. So I decided Brian should take me back."

"Wow, how did he take that?"

"Surprisingly well. So we entered Phase Three. I went back to Brian a different person. A little older, a little wiser and fully in tune with my Brian Kinney radar. I accepted him as he was, as he is. I know there are things he will never give me, but I know that he gives me everything he can. I no longer walk around him on eggshells. I tell him what I think, I tell him off and I call him on his bullshit. He's changed too, because he takes it from me. When I call him on something he actually takes it to heart and thinks about it. When anyone else in the 'family' tries to he just brushes it off, but he actually listens to me. He finally respects me. I have finally stopped being in love with Brian Kinney the illusion, and I'm in love with Brian Kinney the man, and he finally knows it. We're really good together. We challenge each other, we're both better people because we're together. So hopefully Phase Three is the conclusion."

"So why don't you live together?"

"A little bit of a holdout from my romantic delusions. I think Brian wants me to move back in, we've never really talked about it. I've learned that for me sharing your home with someone is about a certain level of commitment. That's part of why we fell apart in Phase Two. I believed that by living with Brian, we were committed in a certain way, and he saw it differently. This is only something I realized in Phase Three. If we lived together now, we could fall apart again. Maybe someday we'll be there, maybe not, but it doesn't really bother me anymore."

"Wow that's intense," Hunter said with all his sixteen year old wisdom.

"So that's what it's like being Brian Kinney's boyfriend. You see this man who is gorgeous, sexy and the greatest fuck the world has ever known. Tricks get to experience that, but Brian Kinney the man is a whole different story, and I'm the one who gets to know that."

Justin's last statement was interrupted by a knocking at the door. He got up to answer it. Standing on the other side of the door was Brian, he pushed passed Justin and walked inside. He saw Hunter on the couch, and turned to look at Justin, "You two were supposed to meet Michael, Ben and I at Woody's."

Justin looked at his 'boyfriend' incredulously, and then slapped himself on the forehead, "Fuck! I forgot to take my ESP pills this morning," he glared at his lover, "you could have said something."

Brian looked at Justin with longing and love in his eyes, Justin turned to roll his eyes at Hunter, and a look passed between the two, "Come on Hunter, let's go."

Hunter just smirked, and Brian wondered what he had missed.

The End

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