Justin New York

Brian turned the collar of his coat up to block the cold wind while he walked from his car to the precinct. He knew it was actually warmer being back in the Pitts than it had been in New York, but he hadn’t felt the cold there. Having Justin wrapped around him all weekend had definitely kept the chill off.

The wind was forgotten as he remembered the first morning he woke up with Justin in the hotel…scalding hot water beating down on him, steam filling his lungs as Justin fucked him in the shower. The older man rarely bottomed, but there was something about the blonde that made Brian want everything. And fuck if it didn’t feel good. Too good. Whatever Justin’s limitations were due to his knee, he more than made up for it with creativity and stamina. By the time they headed back home on Sunday, they were both raw and sore and ready to pass out.

Of course, that had been Brian’s plan. It was obvious Justin’s nightmares and paranoia over a few misdialed phone calls were due to his anxiety about the upcoming anniversary of the accident. The detective had tried more conventional means to get the blonde to deal with his feelings, but Justin was not interested in talking about it anymore. Brian was surprised he had opened up as much as he did and didn’t push it any further. He just hoped he could keep the kid occupied until the day had passed. Once the artist realized his asshole ex wasn’t going to show up again, he’d be able to move on.

For the most part, Brian thought Justin handled it okay. Sure, he shut himself up on Monday and claimed to be painting, but he reemerged Tuesday. They even got together with Emmett and Ted for a drink at Woody’s. The blonde was still a little subdued, but the older man figured he would be back to normal after another couple days, and he was looking forward to spending some time with the artist without their well-meaning friends or phantom exes getting in the way.

Brian ran up the stairs to the precinct house and burst through the doors, relieved to be out of the cold. He fumbled with stiff fingers to remove his gloves and fish his ringing phone out of his pocket. Seeing Michael’s number, he let the call go to voice mail. He wasn’t ready to deal with the man yet.

The rest of the weekend in New York had been strained between the friends after the New Year’s Day brunch. Brian had always known how Michael felt about him, but he hoped the man would get over it and have his own life when he went to New York. The detective didn’t realize their separation had had the opposite effect until Michael started taking his frustration out on Justin. It started with the phone call to their room that first night, and slowly escalated through thinly veiled innuendo. The final straw had been Michael’s accusations that Vic had ruined his life. The couple avoided anymore invitations to the restaurant during their stay which Brian knew hurt Vic and Debbie deeply, but he also knew they understood. Brian couldn’t believe how warped his friend’s perception had become, how everyone else but him had noticed, and how he had no idea what to do to fix it.

As the detective entered the squad room, Danny rushed over. "I got an address on our suspect. Let’s go."

Brian groaned as he was pushed back into the cold, but he was relieved to have something else to focus on. He knew he would have to deal with Michael eventually, but for now, he gladly turned his mind to a hot shower and a wet slippery blonde again as Danny got behind the wheel and they headed back across town.


Emmett sashayed into the gallery and planted himself on the corner of Janine’s desk with a flourish. "Happy hump day," he crowed.

Janine glared at him. "Everyone’s humping but me."

Emmett patted her hand. "Sadly, not everyone. In fact, I’m here to take Princess to lunch and find out why he left Detective Delish to fend for himself last night. Wanna join the interrogation?"

Janine’s eyes widened. "He didn’t!"

The man nodded. "He did. Brian was all over him like white on rice, but Princess went home early, and alone. And there were plenty of men ready to take his seat when he left. If he’s not careful, Brian may decide to just remove the reserved sign and let someone else sit on his cock."

The receptionist frowned. "Maybe that’s what he wants."

Emmett shook his head. "No, you haven’t seen them together. That man is smitten with our Princess, even Teddy says so. And as I understand it, that’s no small feat. Brian isn’t the town bicycle like his friend Michael describes, but--"

Emmett suddenly threw his hands into the air as his annoyance with the other man was rekindled. "Sweet Jesus, hon, you should’ve met this guy. He’s 40 going on 14. He’s Brian’s self-proclaimed best friend and would not shut up about it! And he made no bones about not liking Justin. Teddy says he’s always been in love with Brian and as green as pea soup when Brian meets anyone. Which doesn’t happen a lot because of his job so he’s only had a series of casual flings over the years and of course Michael has parlayed it into this fantasy that Brian is Julia Roberts and he’s Richard Gere."

The man clasped his hands to his chest and swooned. "Poor Brian’s only whoring around because he’s waiting for Dickhead to come save him." Emmett snorted and waved his arms in the air as he continued to rant. "Michael’s convinced Brian’s waiting for him to move back to Pittsville and they can be together. What Michael doesn’t understand is Brian’s grown up and moved on. Hell, I’ve only know the man a couple weeks and I can see the difference between Michael’s stories of their youth and the man Brian is today! He’s been promoted, bought a home, had a kid. All he needs now is a partner and a dog."

"He’s already got a dog," Janine pointed out with a snicker. "You said Michael’s the man’s best friend." Emmett laughed with her for a moment before she became serious again. "But I was talking about Justin. And now you’ve just proved my point."


"Em, between remembering what happened last year with Eric, and having this asshole talking shit about Brian, it’s no wonder Justin’s pulling back. I think he’s sabotaging things with Brian because he’s scared."

Emmett thrust his hands on his hips indignantly. "Justin’s never been scared of anything! Look at what he’s been through! He’s the most bullheaded person I know. He whipped through his recovery, he’s determined to walk without his cane despite what the doctors said, and he spent an entire weekend fucking the delectable detective until neither one of them could sit down. There’s nothing wrong with him. Brian must’ve done something and I’m gonna find out what’s going on."

The woman grabbed his arm before he charged into Justin’s office. "You’re right, he’s a tough cookie, but there’s a lot of icing there to cover up the cracks. Just--"

She was interrupted by Emmett’s phone and the man gladly answered to keep from hearing another round of her psycho babble on Justin’s state of mind. He knew she meant well, but she didn’t know Justin like he did. His glum mood improved immediately when he found out Ted was on the other end of the line.


Justin heard Emmett outside the door and he cringed. He didn’t feel like playing Twenty Questions today. He knew his friend wanted answers about Brian, but he didn’t have any. He’d been see-sawing back and forth for the last week and he was getting a little queasy from the emotional ups and downs.

He had tried so hard to keep from getting attached to the older man while they were away, but he had to admit he was hooked. Brian was perfect, in every way. Who wouldn’t fall in love with him?

And there was the rub. With every gay man in the hemisphere wanting Brian, why would he choose Justin? Sure, they were having a good time now, but it wouldn’t be long before Brian got bored with him. There were only so many things he could do compared to someone who had two good legs. Michael told him all about the stuff they used to do together. Bungee jumping, skydiving, rock climbing.

Fucking Michael. He wondered why they never got together. It was obvious Michael was in love with Brian. Well, obvious to everyone but Brian. For that, Justin was grateful. He didn’t like the other man, and he had to admit it felt good to be the one Brian was holding and kissing while Michael watched. The guy was so jealous Justin was afraid Michael would push him down the stairs if Brian left them alone long enough. But he didn’t. And they didn’t see Brian’s friends again after the brunch. That was too bad, Justin really liked Debbie and the Italian Scallions, his nickname for Vic and his boyfriend.

But Larry did promise to visit Justin next week while he was in Pittsburgh for a meeting. He was going to teach Justin how to make Brian’s favorite—Rigatoni Puttanesca. Just the thought of anchovies made Justin’s stomach turn, but he would’ve eaten crushed glass to see Brian’s eyes glaze over the way they did when Larry mentioned the dish to Brian.

However, that would only delay the inevitable. Watching a hundred guys hit on Brian at the bar last night had reminded him of that. Sooner or later, Brian would get tired of him. It would be best if he just ended it now.

The ringing phone startled him out of his reverie. Justin nervously debated whether or not to answer. He knew he was being foolish, he hadn’t had one of ‘those’ phone calls in over a week. It really was just a wrong number. A coincidence.

The man was just reaching for the phone when Janine burst into the office. "Oh, sorry," she mumbled nodding to the phone.

Justin eagerly shook his head, snatching his hand back so she couldn’t see it shaking. "They’ll leave a message," he responded as composedly as he could muster. "What’s that?" His eyes were fixed on a package she was holding.

Janine smirked at him. "You tell me. What’d you order from Marc Fouquet?"

Justin frowned. "I don’t know anyone by that name."

"In Germany."

Justin waved her away. "I didn’t order anything, just send it back."

"It was insured for a thousand dollars," she exclaimed. "You have to open it! Someone obviously wants you to have it!"

The man’s stomach twisted in a knot, but he ignored it and gestured for her to set the box on his desk. She placed it in the center and he pulled out a box knife to cut open the top.

"Do you mind?" he huffed as Janine hovered over his shoulder.

"Yes," she retorted, but stepped back.

Justin pulled the flaps open and carefully reached in. His fingers felt around the edges, slowly feeling the shape of the object under the protective wrapping. He lifted the swaddled item from the box and set it on the desk. Janine swept the carton out of the way, quickly searching for any paperwork the sender might’ve included.

Justin slowly cut away the wrapping and gasped when the waterwheel came into view.

"What?" Janine prodded, trying to see.

"Brian," Justin breathed in awe.

"I don’t remember him being that small," she quipped.

Justin grinned at her. "He sent me a cuckoo clock!" He quickly uncovered the rest and lovingly ran his hands over the wood.

"How…nice," Janine replied. "A cuckoo from the Cuckoo. Dump him now."

The blonde laughed. You don’t understand."

"I understand alright. He couldn’t send you flowers or candy like a normal boyfriend. He sent you a fucking clock, Justin. An ugly, noisy--"

"Two hundred year-old, hand-carved antique from The Black Forest of Germany. At least that was the one we saw in the antique shop last weekend, but it didn’t work. Is there any paperwork?"

"Just this." She held up an envelope.

Justin tore it open and scanned the letter. "Brian ordered this one from Germany for me. It’s new, but still handmade."

"I hate to be a wet blanket, but what’s the big deal?"

The artist ran his fingers over the delicate figurines mounted on the little chalet. "I’ve never been able to master sculpturing," he explained. "Any kind-- clay, wood, stone—fascinates me. And the history behind these clocks is amazing. They’ve been making them since the 1600s. I was going to buy the clock I saw before so I could study it, but Brian talked me out of it. Now I know why."

"Care to share?"

"If I wreck it by pulling it apart, I won’t feel so bad."

"But the other one was already broke. This is an expensive gift from a hot man."

Justin’s eyes widened. "This is new and there’s probably hundreds like it. The other one was two hundred years old, Jan! It doesn’t matter if it’s already damaged. Just because a Monet painting had a little water damage, I wouldn’t reuse the canvas for something else."

The woman shook her head. "Artists. You’re lucky Brian understands your crazy shit," she told him.

Justin stared at the clock. "Yeah, I am." But for how long?

"That’s a start," the woman mumbled under her breath.


Janine smiled. "Nothing. Enjoy your ugly toy. I better not be able to hear that thing."

The receptionist was heading back to her desk when Emmett squeezed passed her in the doorway. "Excuse you," she snapped, but the man ignored her. She watched as he rushed around the desk and stopped short in front of Justin.

"Hey, look what--" the blonde froze when he saw Emmett’s face. Oh god. "Em?"

"Brian’s been hurt."

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