The Morning After
Author's Note: Takes place the morning after Episode 308. Brian and Justin deal with the consequences of their reunion.
Justin carefully rolled out of the bed, careful not to wake Brian. He started to get dressed when his lover started to stir. Brian rolled over and reached for Justin's side of the bed. A throw back to when they lived together. When he encountered an empty bed, Brian started to awaken. He looked around for Justin. He was surprised to see the young man almost fully dressed. "Where are you going?"
"I'm going to catch the bus back to the office, get my car, go home and get ready for class, which I have in two hours."
"Wait, I'll drive you."
"Brian, I know you have a presentation today, and I can't wait for you to get ready. It's no big deal. I'll just talk to you later."
"When are you bringing your stuff home?"
Justin was not expecting that question, "What?"
"Well wouldn't it help if you had your stuff here, since you're back here?"
"I'm not moving back in."
This brought Brian to full attention, "What do you mean you're not moving back in?"
"I don't think I stuttered."
"Then what the fuck was last night about? You said you wanted me to take you back."
Justin sat down on the edge of the bed, "I know, and I do. But I didn't mean I wanted to live together again. That would be a disaster."
Brian's head was spinning from this early morning conversation, "What are you talking about?"
Justin laid back down on the bed, turned and looked Brian in the eyes, "Do you remember how much fun we had when I lived with Debbie? There was very little 'angst.' When we were together it was because we wanted to be. Well, when you wanted us to be, I always wanted to be with you. If you wanted to be with me, you would call me and we'd be together. And when you wanted your space to indulge in your 'outside interests,' you didn't call me and we moved on. But when I lived here we were like two caged animals, we couldn't get away from each other. There's was no where for me to be when you wanted your space, so I got the full brunt of your tricking slammed in my face. I hated it, and I started to hate you. At least when I lived at Debbie's, I didn't have to have my face rubbed in it. So, I am going to stay living with Daphne, and we'll be together when we want to be, and when we don't, we both have places to go to get away from each other. I figured you'd be happy about it."
Brian could only grunt in response, this was not what he was expecting at all. He expected the U-haul to be at his door already. He had to admit, Justin was right. When he lived at Debbie's, they were a lot happier than they had been towards the end of their relationship. But didn't they have good times when they lived together? "I guess that makes sense."
"I knew you'd think so." Justin gave Brian a quick kiss, and headed out the door. All Brian could think was What the fuck just happened here?
Justin got back to Daphne's with enough time to get ready for class. He only had one class on Fridays. He didn't work at Vanguard on Fridays because he liked to keep the afternoon open for working in his studio. He entered the apartment to find Daphne waiting for him. She looked at him with a knowing glance, "So, am I going to have to look for a new roommate again?"
Justin smiled at his best friend, "No, I'm not moving back in with him."
"Are you kidding, why not?"
"Because I don't want to."
"But I thought you wanted Brian back?"
"I do, but I've had a lot of time to think. He never really wanted me living with him in the first place. He only took me in because he felt guilty and because my mom pushed him. Look at the disaster it became. I developed all these starry eyed, romantic expectations of him because I was stupid. I told him last night, I know what he wants from me and what I can expect from him."
"So what are you doing?"
"I still love him, and I want to be with him, but I'm not going to delude myself. I know he still cares about me, and I know he likes to fuck me, so that's all I'm going for right now. Then we'll see what happens."
"That is seriously messed up Justin."
"No it's not Daph. I still have the footprint on my ass from him kicking me off the cliff when he wanted to get rid of me. Now he can't, get rid of me that is. If he wants to be with me, he can be, and if he doesn't, he doesn't."
"And this is how you want it?"
"I would love to be in a real relationship with Brian, but that's just not going to happen right now. Maybe someday it will, but as long as I know the playing field right now, I can't get hurt like I did before."
Brian's early morning debate with Justin confused the hell out of him. When Justin declared that he thought Brian should take him back, Brian prepared himself to have the teen move back in with him. The fact that that had never been a part of Justin's agenda left him confused. What kind of game was the younger man playing?
Brian had to take his car into the shop for a tune-up and the mechanic called and told him they had found some extra work that needed to be done. The car wouldn't be ready until the following morning. He decided to call Justin for a ride home. He figured he could get some answers out of the younger man then.
"Don't you have caller-id Sunshine? Yes it's me."
"My car is in the shop until tomorrow, I wondered if you could give me a ride home?"
"Sure, what time are you leaving the office?"
"Ok, I'll pick you up out front." The connection was severed before Brian could speak another word.
Justin was waiting when Brian appeared outside his office building. Brian climbed in the car and was immediately greeted with a blast of annoying rock and roll music. What was even more annoying was Justin singing along. "What the fuck are you listening to?"
Justin looked at him incredulously, "Hello, it's Creedence Clearwater. You know 'Proud Mary' 'Bad Moon Rising?' Don't tell me you've never heard of them?"
"I don't listen to that shit, and I know you don't either."
"Well there's a lot you don't know about me."
This caught Brian's attention, "Whatever Sunshine."
Justin didn't answer him, and they spent the rest of the ride in silence. Justin pulled up to the building on Tremont. Before Brian got out, Justin leaned in and lightly kissed him, "Later."
Brian got out of the car and shut the door. He leaned in the open window, "I'm meeting the guys at Babylon tonight, do you want to go?"
"I'd love to, but Friday is 'date night' with Daphne. Call me tomorrow if you want to do something."
Brian's eyes clouded over, "We'll see."
"Ok, have fun tonight." With that said, Justin drove away, leaving a very confused Brian in his wake.
Brian felt the familiar hedonistic fog descend over him as he got his dick sucked by some guy in the backroom. He closed his eyes and willed himself to be lured away by that familiar feeling. But it wasn't coming. All he could think about was Justin. He had been so sure the blonde would be chomping at the bit to move back to the loft and continue on their merry way. To say he was surprised when Justin announced he would be staying with Daphne was an understatement. Then today when Justin declined his invitation to Babylon, he figured Sunshine would have been thrilled to rub it in their friends' faces that they were back together. Brian even had to admit he was looking forward to the reaction. Yet, Justin declined, and chose to spend the evening with Daphne. Fuck it, he thought, I don't need this.
Daphne and Justin were curled up watching American Psycho, they both thought Christian Bale was so hot in that movie. Justin even said the Patrick Bateman character reminded him of Brian. Daphne laughed as she thought of Brian going after people with chainsaws and axes.
"So how come you didn't go out with Brian tonight?"
"He asked me to go to Babylon, but you and I already had plans."
"Justin, I would have understood, I mean this would be your triumphant return."
Justin chuckled at the thought, Daphne was such a fag hag, "That's the point. I'm not going to jump everytime Brian asks, and I'm not going to go running back with this smug 'I got my man back' shit eating grin. I just want to take it slow, and let things develop. If I push Brian too hard, he'll push back harder, and I'll be back on my ass. This battle is going to take time."
Brian woke up alone and hung over. Babylon had been boring and tedious, even the three blow-jobs he had gotten had not satisfied him. Brian's mind was continuing to spin about Justin. He knew his Sunshine was up to something, but he couldn't figure out what. The question was, did he really want to play?
If he was honest, the answer was yes. But he really didn't know if he wanted to fall back into the old trap. Justin challenged him, made him question things about himself, made him look at himself in a way he never wanted to. He hated that. He liked things simple. No regrets, no apologies and no second guessing. Justin rocked those foundations to the core.
When he left Justin yesterday, the younger man had asked him to call. Brian spent all day Saturday wondering what he should do. He twirled his cell phone in his hand for hours. In the end he decided not to call. He figured he would see Justin at Babylon that night, and they could work it out then.
What surprised Brian that night was that Justin never showed up. He had just assumed the younger man would be there, so much for assumptions. He headed for the back room.
Justin wondered if Brian would call. He was disappointed, but not surprised when the call never came. He went out with Daphne and a few of their friends. They hit a local pool hall and had a great time. Although he was trying not to think of Brian, he wondered what the man was up to.
Brian had two unsatisfying blow jobs in the back room. He decided to head over to Justin and Daphne's. He rang the bell, but no one answered. He decided to wait in his car for them to come home. He waited for two hours and saw the two teens stumble out of a car. They were obviously intoxicated, but they were laughing and having fun. Brian couldn't remember the last time he'd had a night out where he got drunk and just had fun. He was reminded of something Justin had said to him the night they reconciled. He'd said he knew what he could expect from Brian, was it nothing?
Brian went to work on Monday with a heavy heart. He knew he would see Justin and didn't know how to approach Justin. He wondered how the younger man would react to him. Would he be angry, would he fight? He knew Justin was trying to give him space on Friday when he asked Brian to call him on Saturday if he wanted to get together. He wondered what Justin's reaction would be to the fact that he didn't call. Would he be mad?
Brian's first stop was in the art department. He saw Justin sitting in front of a computer. He gently tapped the blonde on the shoulder. Justin jumped, surprised at the distraction, but turned around. His face registered his surprise when he turned around and saw Brian standing there.
"Bri, what are you doing here?"
"I wanted to talk to you."
"About this weekend I know I didn't call "
"Look, it's cool. I asked you to call me if you wanted to do something, you didn't, so you didn't call, no big deal."
"But, I thought "
"Look Brian, I'm not trapping you. I told you last week, I knew what I could expect from you."
"And what was that?"
Several hours later, Brian sat in his office and pondered what Justin had said to him. "Nothing."
Justin expected nothing from him. That would explain why he hadn't been upset about Saturday, why he seemed so non-chalant in the office. He expected nothing from Brian, and would not be upset by insensitive slights. Brian could act like an asshole, and it wouldn't faze Justin. Justin expected nothing from him. The problem was that Brian did. Brian wanted Justin to expect things from him. When Justin expected things of him, it forced Brian to be a better man. The fact that Justin had given up saddened Brian greatly.
The week passed by uneventfully. Brian and Justin saw each other in meetings, but Justin wisely kept his mouth shut, so there was no reason for Brian to summon him. After concluding a presentation on Friday afternoon, Brian decided to take a chance.
"Do you want to go to Babylon tonight?"
"Thanks, but I can't."
"Friday nights are for me and Daph. We usually watch movies with hot guys and order pizza."
Justin didn't ignore the slam, "Well it's fun for us."
Brian was in the loft, trying to decide on his attire for the evening. Not that anyone at Babylon cared what he was wearing. Brian found himself in a pair of worn, faded jeans and t-shirt. What surprised him even more was that he didn't find himself driving to Babylon, he found himself driving to Justin and Daphne's.
Justin and Daphne were preparing their evening. Daph had ordered the pizza, and Justin was deciding what movies they would watch. A little while later, there was a knock at the door. Assuming it was the pizza guy, Daphne went to answer the door. You could have knocked her over with a feather when she found Brian standing there.
"Hey Daph!" he bent to kiss her cheek.
Justin entered the living room at that moment, "Brian, what are you doing here?"
"Well, I wanted to hang out with you tonight. Since you're hanging out here, so am I. At least, I was hoping to finagle an invitation."
Daphne spoke first, "Of course Brian, come on in!"
The three friends spent the night watching movies and eating pizza. Eventually, Justin fell asleep in Brian's arms.
Brian picked him up and carried him into the bedroom. Justin never awoke. Brian just crawled into bed beside him, and quickly fell asleep.
The next morning, Daphne was awakened to an incessant knocking at the front door. She reluctantly got up and answered the door. She was shocked to find Jennifer Taylor on the other side.
"Hi, Daph, I brought some stuff over for Justin." Her arms were loaded with grocery bags and a small duffle bag.
"Umm, he's still asleep."
"I figured, I'll just put these groceries away." Jennifer Taylor bustled about the kitchen, and when she was done, she picked up the duffle bag and headed to Justin's room.
"Umm Mrs. Taylor "
"Don't worry Daphne, I know he sleeps like the dead, I'll just slip in, he won't even wake up." Before Daphne could say anything, Jennifer had opened the door to Justin's room. She wasn't surprised to see Justin sound asleep, what she wasn't expecting was to see him wrapped up in Brian Kinney's arms.
Justin woke up a few hours later. He carefully disentangled himself from Brian's arms. He was so surprised that the older man had showed up last night to "hang out" with him. He figured Brian would have hit Babylon when Justin declined yet another invitation. But he hadn't, he'd shown up at Daphne's and the three of them had a lot of fun watching movies and eating pizza.
He found Daphne in the living room, drinking some coffee. "Morning."
"Your mom was here earlier."
"What?!" He was not expecting this.
"Yeah, she brought some groceries and some stuff for you. She left it in your room."
"In my room?" Justin didn't need to verbalize the significance of that.
"Yeah she did."
"Fuck! I'd better call her." Justin grabbed the phone and started dialing. "Hey mom."
"Well good morning, you're finally awake."
"I suppose I have some explaining to do."
"No, not really. Can I ask you something?"
"Is he always that unguarded when he sleeps?" When Jennifer had walked into Justin's room, she almost didn't recognize Brian. All the walls were gone, and she saw a man so at peace with the world and with himself.
"Yeah mom, he is."
"That's the man you love isn't it?"
"Yes mom, it is."
"Good, well I expect the two of you to meet me for lunch today. Say noon at McGriff's?"
"Ok, we'll be there,"
Justin went into his room to wake Brian. He found his lover starting to awake and reach for him. Justin sat on the bed and took Brian's hand. "Hey!"
"Good morning Sunshine."
"My mom was here earlier."
Brian grimaced, "Busted huh?"
"Something like that."
"She expects us for lunch at noon."
"We're having lunch with her."
"Baby, I'm not sure if that's a good idea."
"I agree, but when mom summons, I can't say no."
"This is going to be a long lunch."
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