Honeycutt to the Chase, pt. 1


Brian ran down the steps and the blond slowly stirred. Justin cried out in pain as he tried to get up. The older man knelt beside him, placing a hand on his chest. "Don’t move…Jesus, just--"

"Is he alright," Lindsay asked nervously from over his shoulder.

Brian shoved her away, snarling, "Get the fuck away from him, you cunt!"

"Detective Kinney," another officer started, but Brian waved him off.

"Just get her out of here." He heard her sobbing as they led her away and then he noticed Paul pushing his way into the small circle of police and security that had gathered around. Brian called for him to be let through and focused his attention back on the blond. "You’re okay, Angel, everything’s okay," he soothed over and over as they waited for the ambulance.


Brian slowly backed away from the exam table, carefully disentangling his hand from the sleeping blond’s. He promised Justin they would leave the hospital as soon as the doctor returned with his paperwork, but in the meantime, he had some work of his own to do.

When he stepped out into the corridor, he saw Melanie waiting. "What are you doing here?" He looked up and down the empty hall. "Where’s Ricky?"

"Lindsay called me, she was so upset… Michael stayed with Ricky."

The anger that flared up again at Lindsay’s name was temporarily sidetracked. "Excuse me?"

"He spent the weekend with us since no one else was around. I hated for him to come all the way here and just leave again." Brian gave her an incredulous look and she shrugged. "He is his Godfather. They went to the zoo and the museum and I got some work done." She put her hand on Brian’s arm. "How’s Justin doing?"

The detective’s face clouded over again. "He’s finally out. Christ… Mel, you have no idea what he’s been through," the man told her, anxiously raking his hand through his hair.

"But he’s gonna be alright, right? How’s his leg?"

"Fine," Brian huffed, still unable to believe it himself. "Bruised and swollen, hell, everything’s black and blue. There are some strained ligaments, but no fracture. He sprained his ankle and had to get half a dozen stitches in his chin. His face looks like he ran into a cheese grater, so do his hands…he’s so upset about his hands. Luckily, he didn’t break his wrist, or his fingers. But he doesn’t see it that way right now." He shifted from one foot to the other, trying to shake off the helplessness that was bearing down on him again. "He’s so freaked out about being back in the hospital they had to put him out."

"Jesus," Melanie gasped. "He has to be more careful in this weather. Linds said that ice--"

"What the fuck?!" Brian growled. "There was no ice! She TRIPPED him."

"Brian!" the woman exclaimed. "How can you say such a thing, it was an accident--"

"She deliberately tripped him so he would fall," Brian ground out. "And I’m going to find out why. Where is she?"

"It was a--"

"Where. Is. She."

"She went back to the gallery," Melanie hurriedly explained. "She was trying to ask Justin about the vault, when he fell, she said he—he vandalized his art, Eric, and she didn’t know if anyone checked the vault. She was afraid he got in and—and no one knew. No one else would know where to look for Justin’s stuff in the inventory, so she went back to help." Brian frowned at her and she scowled back. "They’re FRIENDS, Brian, she would never hurt him."

But Brian wasn’t listening. Something in the back of his mind was trying to claw its way out. Something was there…

"Brian," Melanie continued to rant. "Do you hear me? She’s been there for him through everything this last year. I know you think… I know you don’t get along, things have been really strained since you and Justin… and that damn insurance policy…but we can work this out. You’ll see, she couldn’t--"

"Fuck. Me." Brian suddenly muttered.

The money. Justin. The juvie record. Fuck, he forgot about dear old mom and dad. He should’ve told him then… The detective rubbed the stitches in his forehead from that day. Shit. But what was she up to… was it tied together? Or coincidence? Either way, he needed to keep her away from the vault until he figured out what was going on because clearly it meant something to her. Enough to risk hurting Justin to—to what? Keep him out of the way? A diversion? His art in the vault…his job this past year… his money…his…his…his…

"Christ!" Brian pulled out his cell phone and called the security guard at the gallery.

"Jim? It’s Brian Kinney."

"Yes, Detective, what can I do for you?"

"Has Lindsay Peterson returned? Has she signed in yet?"

"No. No, Sir."

"She’s on her way, Jim, but don’t let her in. Tell her the police have sealed the building as a crime scene and she can’t get back in until Monday. Then when she’s gone, I want you to call me back. Do you still have my cell number?"

"Yes, Sir. I do. I’ll call you right away."

"Thanks, Jim."

"You’re welcome. How is Mr. Taylor, Sir?"

"Fine, Jim, I’ll tell him you asked."

"Thank you, Sir."

Brian hung up and saw the nurse step into Justin’s room.

"Brian? What’s going on?" Melanie asked as he followed the nurse.

"Go home, I’ll call you tomorrow."

"Brian, what about Lin--" she started, but he was gone.

The detective hovered behind the curtain as the nurse woke the artist and helped him get oriented again. Brian was relieved that Justin seemed calmer than when he was admitted, although that probably had a lot to do with the drugs.

The nurse saw Brian and waved to him. The older man stepped out of the shadows and she met him at the end of the bed as Justin drifted back into a comfortable haze. She was smirking and Brian looked at her quizzically. "What’s going on, Sharon?"

"Does he have a dog, Detective?" she asked in amusement.

Brian shook his head. "No, he’s allergic."

"Well, he’s under the impression he has one now," she laughed. "A big guard dog that protects him, but is really very cuddly at night and gives wet sloppy kisses. He says he likes those best."

"What the--"

"Oh, and his name is Brian."

The man blinked at her. "Christ, you’re kidding!"

She shook her head, chuckling as she left the room to get a wheelchair.

Brian sat next to his lover, lightly stroking his cheek. "What the hell did they give you, Angel?" he mused out loud.

"Mmm…good puppy," Justin sighed, turning into the touch.

Brian snorted a laugh as he gently nuzzled the blond’s neck. He’d been called worse.


Brian flattened his tongue and licked a wide path over Justin’s cheek. He’d been watching the blond sleep all night and knew the younger man was starting to stir. In response to his wet wake up call, Justin tried to bat him away, but the pain in his hand forced him awake.

"Easy," Brian murmured as he caught the bandaged arm and carefully lay it back down.

Justin groaned, groggily blinking up at the older man. "Did you just…lick me?"

"You said you like puppy slobber," Brian defended indignantly, biting his cheek to keep from laughing. "You’re just a fickle master."

"I…what?" the blond mumbled as he tried to think back. Something was tickling the back of his mind… "Oh, god, I had this dream… you were this big snarling doberman pinscher, and I was afraid you would bite me too, but you were protecting me, and you would lay your head in my lap and lick my hand…" He looked down at the bandages covering the cuts from his fall. "My hands…"

Brian wiped away an escaping tear from the blond’s cheek as Justin struggled with his emotions. "That wasn’t a dream," the detective told him to keep him distracted. "It was more like a drugged induced hallucination. Which, by the way, made the nurse think we’re into some kinky role playing." He couldn’t keep the humor out of his voice anymore. "A DOG, Justin? You couldn’t have imagined I was a…fuck, I don’t know, anything but that. Is that how you see me? As some crotch-sniffing perv?"

Justin finally laughed dryly. "Well, if the collar fits…" He licked his lips, trying to smile.

"Oh, here." Brian offered him a glass of water. The brief flicker of light in Justin’s eyes dampened again as they both realized Brian would have to hold it for him. Ignoring the awkwardness, Brian asked, "How are you feeling, besides hungover, from your little bender last night?"

Justin thought for a moment, then sighed. "Numb."

"Good, let’s keep it that way," Brian replied, holding up another dose of pain medication.

Justin grimaced slightly, but dutifully took it. "I have to piss," he added.

Brian reached over the side of the bed, and the blond shook his head. "No. I’m not… I can get up."

"I’m sure you can," Brian agreed, "but you have to use the wheelchair until your hands heal, and the chair doesn’t fit in the bathroom. So until we move or you can use your crutches, it’s the jug." He saw Justin’s jaw tighten as the artist tried to push down his despair. "Hey, look at me." He turned the younger man’s face towards him. "It’s just for a few days. A temporary setback. You’re gonna be kicking my ass around the stable again before you know it."

The younger man nodded weakly. "I know…it’s just…I’m just tired is all."

Neither one believed that, but Brian also knew he’d be more worried if Justin wasn’t upset. Temporary or not, this was a huge step backward after struggling so hard to get past his handicap.

"You can go back to sleep as soon as you take a leak. I’ll hold your dick, but I draw the line at changing the sheets if you piss yourself."

Justin managed a still weaker smile. "You just want to get in my pants."

"Was there ever any doubt?"


"Where are we?" Justin finally asked as he looked around the unfamiliar room. It didn’t look like a hotel and he didn’t remember checking into one, although he didn’t remember much of anything.

"My house. Guest bedroom. It was just easier, with it being late and all." He was still nervous about taking Justin back to the Shickel estate, and his place had the extra room on the first floor so maneuvering the wheelchair wasn’t a problem. It still might not be the safest place if they were being watched, but it was a much smaller space to control and he knew it like the back of his hand. Both were obvious advantages in his favor if it came down to it.

The blond nodded, yawning. "Go to sleep, Bri," he ordered as his eyelids fluttered.

"I’m fine," the older man responded. He wasn’t letting his guard down for anything.

"You need to sleep. I know you were up all night…Be a good puppy and lie down."


The phone startled Justin awake a few hours later. Brian snatched it up from the bedside table. "Emmett," he told the blond after he looked at the caller ID. "Hello?"

"Brian, I’m sorry, I just got your message," Emmett said. "What’s going on?"

Brian called him the night before, but when the man didn’t answer, he left a vague but urgent message to call him back. The detective gave his lover a sidelong glance, debating whether or not to move to another room, but Justin obviously read his mind and shook his head.

"The gallery was vandalized last night," Brian told his friend.


"Actually, it was Justin’s office, but there is some speculation there may be more that hasn’t been discovered yet—in the vault." He deliberately left his suspicion of Lindsay out of it for now. "I need you to come back and open the vault, check the inventory."

Justin’s eyes widened. Security had checked the vault when they did the first sweep. What hadn’t Brian told him? Something obviously happened during his stupor.

"Of course," Emmett replied automatically, "we can be back in a few hours, but why don’t you have Justin or Lind—where is Justin? Is he alright?" the man asked, panic rising in his voice.

Justin could hear his friend and shook his head at Brian indicating he shouldn’t tell him everything. Brian frowned, but did it. "He’s fine, Em, just shook up. I just don’t want him to have to deal with it if there’s anything there," he replied. It wasn’t complete lie.

"There’s something you’re not telling me. Do they have a suspect? Who did this?"

"We think it was Eric."

"Oh, my god! That’s impossible!"

"Justin’s been getting some crank calls we thought might be him. And then last night--"

"Crank calls? Eric? Why didn’t anyone tell me? How long has this been going on? No one told me!"

Hearing Emmett’s voice raise several octaves, Justin took the phone from Brian. "Em, I’m sorry, it was just…no of course not…I didn’t tell anyone… not even Brian until…I thought it was my imagination…Em…no one else knows…I only told the police last night…"

Brian left the younger man to calm his friend as he slipped to the kitchen to get some more coffee. He was replaying the night in his mind, organizing his thoughts as he once again prepared his plan for the day. Brighton would question the rest of the staff, try to figure out when and how Eric got into Justin’s office. Brian was going to work the case on his own, from Lindsay’s angle. Something still didn’t add up there. Her reaction to being denied access to the vault was all the proof he needed. The security guard had been quite shaken with her threats to have him fired, but he stood his ground.

Brian groaned inwardly as he thought about dealing with Mel in the mix. Last night’s tension at the hospital was only the tip of the iceberg. He couldn’t stop their argument from replaying in his mind as he headed back to the bedroom. He tried to push it aside as he considered how to broach the subject with Justin. The man wouldn’t be any more open to his suspicions than Mel. Brian could hear the argument now. They were friends. She wouldn’t do that. Mel’s words popped back into his head and he brushed them aside once more.

Then it suddenly hit the detective between the eyes. The last tumbler clicked into place in his mind and the door swung open. The answer he was looking for was staring him in the face on the other side.

At the same time, Justin started shouting, "Brian! BRIAN!!"

Instinctively, Brian dropped the mug and ran down the hall. In the bedroom, Justin was struggling to get up, his eyes wild and terrified.

"Brian, it’s not Eric. It’s not—Em said--"

Brian grabbed him, holding him tight as he eased the blond back down on the bed. "I know."

Justin clung to him, shaking, and the detective tightened his hold, silently swearing the bitch was going to pay.

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