Close to Home II

+ One +

Brian hit the icon for his e-mail. The computer screen changed and he scanned down the list of e-mails. That was when he spotted it. An e-mail from BB, just what he was looking for. He couldn't keep the smile off his face as he clicked the mouse and the message came up.

"Hey, PP, I've been up for hours. Why haven't I heard from you? BB"

Brian grinned. He had known Justin for a little over three weeks and he was beginning to find out how different they were. Brian rose at the crack of dawn and began the day with his exercises that kept the upper half of his body in tip top shape and his useless lower half as flexible and firm as possible. Justin, on the other hand, tended to get up around noon and spent the daylight time painting and the wee small hours of the morning on the computer. Brian was often up in those wee small hours, but that was because he couldn't sleep. Lately they had been spending those hours together, and occasionally the whole night.

And that's where the problem arose. If Justin stayed the night, Brian invariably woke his lover when he arose to do his exercises. The loft wasn't exactly conducive to privacy or quiet. Even with the glass partitions closed Brian's activities would awaken Justin who was nothing if not grumpy when he was forced to get up too early.

They had reached a kind of compromise. Justin would come up from his loft to play late in the evening. When they were through he would reluctantly drag himself out of Brian's bed and go down to sleep in his own. Brian had learned to love sleeping with Justin and always felt slightly abandoned when the blond got up to leave. However, there seemed to be no other reasonable solution.

They would e-mail when they were ready to get together. They could have called on the phone but the e-mails were homage to how they had first met over the internet. It worked for them. Usually some time after lunch Brian would check his e-mails and find one from Justin. Sometimes he would not receive the expected e-mail and would send one of his own. Often it was returned with a bit of an apology and an explanation that Justin had been struck with an idea and was painting, or he had an appointment that he had forgotten about, or he was busy with something else.

They made it policy to always have dinner together whenever possible. They enjoyed eating together, going over what had happened during their days and spending time with each other. Sometimes circumstances kept them apart, but most nights they cooked together in Brian's loft. Justin did most of the cooking, but Brian helped and was actually reasonably proficient in the kitchen if he wanted to be.

One night as they sat eating the roast chicken that Justin had prepared a thought struck Justin.

"Brian," he began, "do you have any friends?"

"Does that seem so fucking impossible to you?" Brian demanded. Justin waited. He had quickly learned that Brian's reaction to unexpected situations or questions was a sarcastic retort. After a long pause where Brian seemed to be thinking about his answer, he finally said, "I used to."

"But not anymore?" Justin wondered aloud.

Brian shook his head.

"What happened?" Justin asked.

"The fucking wheelchair happened," Brian said dropping his fork with a clatter. "What the fuck do you think?" The disgust was clear in his voice and in his eyes.

"I didn't mean to upset you," Justin said softly. "I … I just wondered."

"Do you have any friends?" Brian demanded. There was a cruel edge to his voice.

Justin wished he had never brought this up, but it was too late to go back. "Yes, I do."

"Like who?" Brian demanded.

"My best friend is Daphne."

"How come I've never met her?"

"She's a resident at Pittsburgh General Hospital. She doesn't have a lot of free time."

"Oh," Brian said calming down a little.

"Did you have a best friend?" Justin asked calmly. He really wanted to know. He hated the thought of Brian locked away in the loft never seeing anyone from the outside world. If Brian did have a best friend, Justin wondered how that person could have abandoned the man in his time of need. Justin knew Daphne would never do that to him.

"Yes," Brian almost whispered.

"Did he come to see you after the accident?"

"Do we have to talk about this?" Brian asked with a sigh.

"No, we don't have to. I just wanted to know. I wondered where he or she is."

"It's a 'he'. Michael Novotny," Brian said shaking his head like it hurt to remember. He wasn't sure he wanted to talk about Michael, wasn't sure that he could. But he also knew that Justin cared about him and asked because he wanted to know, not to criticize or preach. For some reason he felt obligated to answer. Brian took a deep breath and plowed ahead. "After … after the accident … I didn't want to see anybody. I … I didn't want anybody to see me."

"I can understand that," Justin said. He could only imagine how it must have been for someone as gorgeous as Brian to suddenly be half the person he used to be. That must have been how Brian would have looked at it. He wouldn't want others pitying him or giving him false encouragement. He wondered how soon Brian had been told that he would never walk again. He must have had hope that he would walk again, at least at first.

Brian studied Justin. He knew that the young man didn't really understand what it had been like, didn't understand how his life had been ripped away from him in a split second. That car crossing into his lane and slamming into the Jeep should have killed him. Sometimes he wished that it had. But somehow he had survived even as the crippled creature that he now was.

"Brian," Justin said softly.

He heard Justin say his name and it pulled him back from the morbid thoughts that still assaulted him all too often.

"I'm here," Brian said letting out a long, slow breath. "I drove them all away," he added suddenly.

"What?" Justin asked not sure that he had heard correctly.

"I drove all my friends away. I refused to talk to them. I told the nurses to keep them out or I wouldn't cooperate with my rehab."

"But rehab must have been much later," Justin said trying to understand.

"It was. I put up with their cards and flowers and well wishes and fucking plastered on smiles and cheerful attitudes until I couldn't stand it another second. I knew if I had to make nice with one more of them I would start screaming hysterically. So … I told the nurses that I would not have anymore visitors for any reason. At first they didn't believe me, the nurses or my friends. They all thought I would relent and allow visitors after a while, but I knew that I was doomed to be alone."

"Doomed?" Justin asked. "Didn't you just say that it was your choice?"

"I just gave them the out they had been looking for," Brian said ruefully.

"How could you know that?"

"I was … am a fucking cripple. Who'd want to be around me?" Brian's voice was filled with bitterness.

"Me," Justin said simply. Brian looked up into that face full of acceptance and love. "I don't think you should have made that decision for them."

"Well, it's too late now. The decision was made and I don't have any friends … anymore."

"What about Cynthia?"

"Cynthia works for me … or for Ryder. She's not a friend."

"It sure seemed like she was your friend when…" Justin stopped. He didn't want to remind Brian of his aborted attempt at suicide. He and Cynthia had rescued Brian.

Brian looked over at Justin. He knew all too well what Justin was referring to. He knew it had been a stupid and useless attempt when he was at a very low point. He refused to dwell on it. "Cynthia is an employee," Brian stated. "She merely did what was best for the company."

Justin laughed out loud.

"What?" Brian asked.

"You are such a fucking enigma!"

"What the fuck are you talking about?"

"You know that Cynthia saved you from … yourself," Justin said not wanting to use the word suicide. "You thought so little of yourself at that point, and now, you're telling me that you're the best thing that ever happened to your advertising firm. How can it be both ways?"

Brian smirked. "Nobody is better than me at advertising." Then his eyes turned dark. "Nobody used to be better than me at picking up tricks … and fucking. But now…"

"Nobody's better than you now … at fucking, I mean," Justin grinned.

"Thanks for the compliment," Brian said sticking his tongue in his cheek with that skeptical look he wore so often. "But since you do most of the work when we're fucking, I'd have to say that nobody's better than you."

"Compliment accepted," Justin said with a big grin. "But it is a two way street."

"Yeah, and lately I seem to be on the receiving end of that street."

"Are you complaining?"

"Not really," Brian said thoughtfully. "But it's not something I ever thought I would be doing … so regularly. Just another example of…" Brian didn't finish that statement.

"… of how things have changed. Change isn't always a bad thing, you know," Justin said philosophically.

"Yes, Aristotle."

"What does change have to do with Aristotle?" Justin asked.

"I don't know. I was just trying to think of a fucking philosopher, since that's how you sounded." Brian looked thoughtful. "Didn't he write about the four basic elements? And then in the Middle Ages the scientists spent all their energy on alchemy trying to transmute elements from one thing to another."

"Lead to gold?"

"Yeah. See, you can make a connection between anything."

"Six degrees of Kevin Bacon?" Justin asked with an evil grin.

Brian chuckled. "You know, your mind is almost as weird as mine. It's what makes for interesting advertising … taking unrelated ideas and making them come together in a new way. It's the basis of humor too."

"I learn something every day that I hang around you," Justin grinned.

"Twat. You knew that already."

Justin nodded. "I didn't get 1500 on my SAT's for nothing."

"Fifteen fucking hundred!"

"That's right," Justin gloated. He knew very few people could match that achievement. "What did you get?"

"Never mind," Brian replied.

"I guess I can let that one go," Justin said knowing that Brian probably got less, not that Brian wasn't incredibly smart.

"How charitable of you!" Brian retorted.

"I'm sorry I even mentioned it."

"So am I."


"It's … all right. Now I know what I'm up against."

"You're not up against anything. I wasn't bragging. Honestly! It just came out."

Brian chuckled. "You're so gullible. I'm not mad or jealous or anything…" Brian got a mischievous glint in his eye. "In fact, if you're a very bad boy I might tell you what my SAT score was."

"Do I want to know?" Justin asked not sure what to make of this turn of events. It couldn't possibly be that Brian had a better score, could it? "You don't have to tell. It doesn't matter anyway."

"Right," Brian agreed but that little smirk was still evident.

"So, do you want to watch a movie or something?" Justin asked standing up and gathering the dishes they were done with.

"I guess…" Brian said.

"Sounds like you'd rather do something else," Justin observed loading the dishwasher.

"I'd kind of like to see a new movie," Brian admitted.

"You mean one we can rent? Which one?"

"No …" Brian said slowly. "I mean a movie at a movie theater."

"You do?" Justin asked staring over at Brian.

"Yes, I do."

"And just what movie would this be?"

"Shall We Dance."

"Isn't that the new Richard Gere movie?"

"That's the one."

"It's about dancing or something, isn't it?" Justin asked wondering why Brian would want to see something like that.

"What was your first clue?" Brian asked with a smirk.

Justin stuck out his tongue at him. "So you want to go out to see this movie?"


"My, aren't we getting adventurous!" Justin teased, although he was very glad to hear that Brian wanted to get out of the loft.

"I wouldn't do this for just anybody."

Justin smiled. "I'm glad you feel confident enough with me to try it," Justin said.

"It's not for you. It's for Richard Gere," Brian smirked.

"Well, shit!" Justin reacted.

"And you too," Brian chuckled softening his answer.

"I didn't know you were a Richard Gere fan," Justin said.

"What's not to like? He's gawgeous, to quote a friend of mine," Brian said playfully.

"Who's the friend?"

"Um …" Brian hesitated. He had already told Justin about Michael. He wasn't sure he wanted to start talking about Emmett. "His name's Emmett."

"I didn't know you liked older guys," Justin replied.

"Emmett's not older," Brian said with a frown.

"I meant Richard Gere," Justin said filing away Emmett's name for future reference. "He is pretty cute, even with that grey hair. And there were all those rumors about him being gay."

Brian smirked. "Probably true too," Brian said.

"Isn't he married with a couple of kids now?" Justin asked.

"And your point would be…?"

"Um, nothing. Let's look on the internet and see where the movie is playing," Justin said.

"And if it's wheelchair accessible," Brian added. He hated having to think about that, but it was a reality of his life.


When they returned from the movie some time later, Justin was tangoing all the way up in the elevator.

"Dance with me, Brian?" Justin asked as they entered the loft.

"I can't dance in this contraption," Brian grimaced.

"Sure you can."

Justin took Brian's hand and led him into the middle of the loft. He held Brian's hand as he twirled and moved around. Gradually Brian got the drift of what Justin was doing. He began to turn and move the chair in sync with Justin's movements. Justin went over to the stereo and put on one of Brian's old CD's. Some group began singing "Save the Last Dance for Me". Justin began moving to the beat of the music and Brian followed along. They moved flawlessly in the middle of the loft. As the song drew to a close, Justin twirled around and landed in Brian's lap leaning back across the chair.

He started giggling as Brian leaned over to rub his lips against Justin's. Soon the kiss deepened and Justin sat up so he could get more purchase against Brian's body. They kissed and kissed until they were both panting and hard.

"Want to fuck in the chair?" Justin gasped. "Just like the first time."

Brian nodded trying to catch his breath. Kissing Justin was a workout in itself. He wanted to suck the boy totally into his mouth and Justin seemed to devour Brian's mouth with such fervor that neither ever wanted to stop.

"Get undressed, my darling dancing partner," Justin giggled.

"Bossy," Brian said with a smirk.

"That's me, BB. Remember."

"I know only too well," Brian said. He began removing his clothes, as he watched Justin divest himself of his garments.

Justin's cock sprang free and stood proud and tall. He dropped to his knees in front of Brian and began to work his magic on Brian's cock. When Brian was hard and leaking, Justin sheathed the erect cock and climbed aboard. He impaled himself on Brian's cock and rode it for all he was worth. His mouth was locked with Brian's during most of the enterprise. Both men moaned as their orgasms neared. They were so in tune with each other and this was the ultimate expression of their passion.

With a final downward thrust Justin squeezed Brian's cock and they both blew their loads. Justin clung to Brian's neck trying not to fall off the wheelchair as he slumped against Brian in exhaustion. Brian's strong arms encircled Justin's slim body and pulled him close. He held on tight as his orgasm receded and the world came back into focus.

"You are … amazing," he gasped against Justin's ear.

"Back at ya," Justin whispered licking the side of Brian's face. "That was … powerful."

"I think we could use a shower," Brian groaned as Justin moved and Brian's spent dick slipped out of its recent home. Both gasped at the sudden lost.

"I never want you to leave me," Justin said softly kissing Brian's lips. He meant Brian's dick leaving his ass, but he also meant Brian in his life. He never wanted to lose this man that now meant everything to him.

"Me either," Brian replied kissing back.

Reluctantly Justin stood up and they made their way up to the shower.

Some time later they lay side by side in bed.

"Stay with me tonight?" Brian asked. "I won't do my exercises until you wake up," Brian promised.

"Okay," Justin agreed sleepily. "We should maybe think about some other sleeping arrangements since this doesn't seem to be the most practical way of doing this."

"I want you beside me every night," Brian admitted.

"I like that too."

"I sleep much better."

"I do too," Justin grinned, "until you get up and start clanking around with the weights."

"There must be some other arrangement we can work out," Brian said frowning.

"Uh huh," Justin said as he started to drift off.

But before he thought about that he had to find one Michael Novotny. He knew Brian needed friends in his life and he intended to see that he had them. He would start with this Michael and see how things went from there.

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