Close to Home II

+ Eight +

"Justin … oh, Justin," Brian singsonged close to Justin's ear.

The blond turned over and batted at the annoyance.

"Justin," Brian cooed his hand sliding in under the duvet and finding Justin's cock.

Justin wriggled around and let out a tiny mewl.

"Justin," Brian persisted a wicked grin on his face.

Justin shifted slightly and moaned. Brian's hand slid up and down his length.

"Justin," Brian said once more using his best sex-filled voice.

"Hunh," Justin replied his eyes fluttering open. He felt Brian's hand on his dick and Brian's warm breath at his ear. He opened his eyes further and glanced at the smirk on Brian's face. "Fuck!" he reacted. "What do you think you're doing?"

"Playing," Brian said with a grin.

"Get some toys of your own," Justin griped pulling Brian's hand off his now rigid dick.

"I like these toys," Brian grinned.

"What the fuck time is it?"

"Seven in the morning. We fell asleep and you forgot to go home."

"Shit! Why couldn't you just let me fucking sleep?" Justin asked snuggling down into the covers.

"I need to do my exercises," Brian explained. "I thought you would prefer me awakening my sleeping beauty with a hand job, instead of me clanking around with my weights."

"How fucking considerate of you? Why did you have to do either?"

"I do have a routine that I follow," Brian said feeling that he was being blamed for something that wasn't his fault. Justin obviously didn't know how important his routine was.

"Fuck the routine. I want to sleep."

"Then go the fuck home," Brian said rolling over and grabbing the bar above the bed so that he could hoist himself into his chair.

"You are one annoying son of a bitch. You fuck me till I drop, and then you don't have the decency to let me get a good night's sleep."

"You've been asleep for hours," Brian protested.

"And I need hours more, so piss off."

"Justin," Brian said ominously.

Somewhere in the back of Justin's sleepy mind, he realized that this was Brian's house, not his own. "Fine," he said tossing aside the duvet. "I'm leaving. Enjoy your loft. Enjoy your exercises. Enjoy jerking off because, big boy, you'll get nothing from me." By this time Justin had pulled on his jeans. "Ta, ta, to quote Emmett," he called as he yanked back the loft door. "Asshole," was his parting shot.

"Try not to get any cheerier in the morning. I won't be able to stand it," Brian yelled as the loft door clanged shut behind the fine piece of ass. "Fuck! That went well." Brian shook his head as he glided down the ramp from the bedroom. He might as well get his exercises out of the way. There wouldn't be any other kind of exercises for quite a while, if Justin's attitude held.

Some time later Brian had finished his morning routine of exercises and was freshly showered. He felt energized. He hadn't felt that way for so long … ever since the accident. That is, until the delectable blond downstairs had come into his life. Everything had changed with Justin's arrival. Brian smiled at the thought. Even stuck in his fucking chair, life was pretty good. He rolled over to the computer.

Morning BB,

Or it will probably be afternoon by the time you read this. I'm sorry I woke you, but I thought I was doing the right thing at the time. What could be so bad about waking up to a handjob, especially when it isn't your own hand?

Anyway, when you get this, I have a request. I'd like to go see Gus today. Would you like to go with me? I enjoy your company, and it gives me someone else to talk to besides Gus and the munchers. You know!


Brian decided he might as well do some work. It would be a while before he had any hope of receiving a reply from his cranky lover on the floor below. He was about to turn away when the computer pinged indicating an e-mail. He clicked on it and a big smile crossed his face at least for a fleeting moment. He read:


That should stand for "positively pissed" because that's what I am. You wake me up, kick me out and then want a favor. You have some colossal nerve! If I didn't like you so much, I'd tell you to go fuck yourself, but I'd rather do that myself.

As you can see it's not afternoon. I couldn't fucking get back to sleep, so I've been painting. Got some great stuff done too. You'll have to come down and see what I've been doing. I think you'll like it.

As for going to see Gus, I'd love to. He's such a sweet little boy. What time do you want to go?


Brian decided he better answer right away, because Justin didn't sound too pissed with him at the moment.


Come up when you are ready to go see Gus. I'll call the munchers and tell them we'll be there this afternoon.

Don't stop painting if things are going good. I know you should take advantage of the muse when it strikes. We can go when you want to take a break.

Thanks for being so gracious after my rude and insensitive actions this morning.


Brian smiled to himself at that last line. He hoped Justin would see the humor in it and they could put the morning grumbles behind them. He really needed to do something about their living arrangements.


Does that stand for partial a "pology"?

You are incorrigible. I have no idea why I let you get away with stuff, but I don't seem to be able to help myself.

I'll be up around one. I should be ready to take a break by then.

Later, BB.

Brian smiled. Justin almost always made him smile, except when he was grumpy in the morning. And even then, Justin's grouchiness could elicit a smile from Brian. He was so … loveable.

Shit! He was going to visit the munchers and here he was thinking like one. He shook his head, or maybe it was an involuntary shudder at the thought. He needed to get to work.


Brian sat in his wheelchair, his son cradled in his arms. Gus had been up for a while and was starting to get tired, ready for his nap. The eyes, so much like his father's, looked up into Brian's face. The baby gurgled and then the eyes slowly closed. Brian swayed slightly in his chair, gently rocking the precious little body he held. It never ceased to amaze him, the feelings that would overwhelm him when he held his son.

"Is he asleep?" Lindsay asked softly as she came in from the kitchen. Justin and Lindsay had been talking in the kitchen while Brian had some time alone with his son in the living room.

Brian nodded and handed the little bundle to his mother. She made her way upstairs to put Gus in his crib for his afternoon nap. When she returned, Brian was still sitting in the same spot. Justin must still be in the kitchen.

"Brian, is everything all right?" she asked.

"Yeah, just thinking."

"Want to join us in the kitchen?"

"In a minute. You go ahead," he said. He had been thinking about how to propose to Justin that they find a house together or at least a bigger apartment where they could have some privacy. He didn't like having to wake up a grouchy Justin in the morning, but he liked the thought of not sleeping with Justin every night even less.

When he finally hauled himself into the kitchen Justin was finishing up a sketch of Lindsay. Brian could tell they had been having a chat about art. Justin always looked a certain way when he was fully immersed in the art scene. That was when he was most animated and alive, except of course when he was being well and thoroughly fucked.

"So what are you two cooking up?" Brian asked.

"Lindsay's going to come see my latest pieces on Thursday. She's going to bring Gus, so I suggested that we all have lunch at my place. Okay with you?"

Brian was about to make some comment that he didn't like having his life planned for him; he might just be busy, but he bit his tongue. He realized he wanted to have lunch with Justin and Lindsay and his son. There was no reason to be snarky about it.

"That sounds fine," he said instead.

"Good, you can see my latest work at the same time," Justin said with a smile.

"Don't I get a private viewing?" Brian said tongue in cheek.

"Anytime, big guy," Justin cooed back at him. Brian felt his groin tighten and then a pain ripped through his abdomen. He sucked in a breath and tried not to moan.

Lindsay cleared her throat. "Should I go check on Gus?" she asked with a chuckle.

"No," Brian said trying to keep his voice normal. "We should be going anyway. I'm glad you're coming for lunch … if the artist is up by noon, that is," Brian said pointedly. The pain was subsiding. He would be fine. However, he reminded himself, this wasn't the first time he had had abdominal discomfort in the last week. He should go see Dr. Johansen … maybe tomorrow.

Justin scowled. "I'll be up," Justin said testily.

"Is there a problem?" Lindsay asked watching the interaction.

"Justin isn't much of a morning person," Brian explained, the pain now completely gone.

"Is that causing problems?" Lindsay wanted to know.

"We're going to have to make some other arrangements," Brian said staring into Justin's eyes.

Justin felt his heart leap. He wondered what Brian meant. He knew what he wanted Brian's words to mean, but he wasn't sure he and Brian were on the same page.

"Let's get going," Justin said as he gathered up his sketchbook and pencils. They needed to discuss this in private.


"Do you want to stop somewhere, have a coffee and talk?" Justin asked as Brian drove away from Lindsay's in his van.

"I need to get home," Brian said brusquely.

"Oh, okay," Justin shrugged. "We can talk there."

"I … I …" Brian took in a deep breath and a grimace passed over his face.

"If this is about changing our living arrangements," Justin said with a chuckle, "I hope our discussion isn't going to be as painful as the expression on your face would indicate."

Brian let out a soft moan and the look of pain on his face increased. Justin noticed beads of sweat on his forehead.

"Brian, are you all right?" Justin asked looking more carefully at the man.

Brian shook his head. "I … I think we better go to the hospital," Brian managed to choke out. "Something's wrong."

"Can you drive?" Justin asked knowing that he could never drive the van, aside from the fact that there was no seat for the driver to sit in. He suddenly felt very helpless.

"I think I can make it," Brian whispered. "The pain is subsiding a little."

"Pain? Where do you have pain?"


"Do you know what's wrong?" Justin asked.

"Might be my bladder," Brian gasped as another wave of pain claimed him.

Justin grabbed the steering wheel making sure they stayed on the road until the wave of pain subsided. "We're almost there," Justin said. "Pull into emergency and I'll get help."

Brian nodded trying to hold on until he got the van into a parking place and Justin leapt out. By the time Justin returned with an orderly Brian was slumped over the steering wheel in more pain than ever. The orderly was able to unlock Brian's chair and he was quickly wheeled inside.

The triage nurse started with her questions and Brian managed to give his doctor's name. He said that he thought it might be his bladder. He had been having some trouble keeping on schedule and had not been eating his regular food. Justin listened intently to this thinking about all the food he had prepared without ever considering that it might not be good for Brian. They had had a lot of takeout over the last few weeks too. He had made Brian eat pizza several times, and then there was the spicy Thai food and Italian with all that cheese and rich sauces. How could he have been so stupid, so thoughtless?

When Brian doubled over in pain once again the nurse called the orderly to take Brian back to a cubicle. Justin was allowed to go with him. They waited for what seemed like forever. Finally the emergency room doctor came in after Brian had had another bout of severe pain. He gave Brian a shot of something to relieve the pain and said that Brian's doctor was in the hospital and was coming down.

The shot seemed to be a big relief to Brian. He started to look and feel better as he had no more severe pain. After about twenty minutes another doctor arrived.

"Dr. Johansen," Brian said with relief as he looked at the tall man with slightly graying hair.

"And what have you been up to, young man?" the doctor asked as he took Brian's vitals once again. "I thought we had a pact not to meet like this until you were at least seventy-five."

"Sorry, Doc," Brian said with a crooked grin. "I couldn't hold up my end of the bargain."

"It says on your chart that you thought it might be your bladder."

"I … I …" Brian looked over at Justin. He wasn't sure that he wanted to discuss this in front of Justin.

"If you want me to leave, I will," Justin said. "But I'd like to stay if there's information that I should know about."

"Doc, this is Justin Taylor. We've been … seeing a lot of each other lately."

"Nice to meet you, Justin," Dr. Johansen said shaking Justin's hand. "Do you want to discuss this in private?" he asked looking over at Brian.

"Maybe Justin should stay," Brian said. He felt Justin's fingers slide in between his own and squeeze to give him reassurance. That gave him the strength to continue. He knew Justin wouldn't run out on him, at least not yet. "I've been having some trouble urinating," he admitted, and Justin could see Brian's embarrassment at discussing this in front of him. He was about to volunteer once again to leave when Brian added, "I think I've gotten too far off my schedule and have been eating the wrong things."

Justin groaned. "It's all that takeout and spicy food I've been serving you."

"It's not your fault," Brian said quickly. "I know what's good for me. I could have told you no, but I thought I was handling it."

"It's not spicy food per se, Justin," the doctor explained. "It might be too much milk and milk products."

"Like cheese and sauces?" Justin asked.

"That certainly doesn't help."

"Shit!" Justin reacted.

"And if you're having trouble voiding?" Brian nodded. "If you're not eliminating properly and urine is sitting in the bladder… Have you been keeping up your intake of fluids?"

"Probably not as much as I should have," Brian admitted.

"Then I would say from your symptoms that we either have a case of bladder stones or possibly an infection. I'm going to send you for an ultrasound so we can see what's in there. And I'll send in a technician to draw blood and get a urine sample so we can check out the infection."

"Okay," Brian agreed.

"I had no idea I needed to be careful about Brian's food," Justin said shaking his head.

"He should have told you," the doctor said pointedly looking at Brian. "Paraplegics can have many complications from their condition. Brian is very lucky that he has been able to train his bladder and bowels to void. Otherwise he would be on catheters all the time, and they present even more possibilities for infection. But he must maintain a certain diet and a constant routine. If he hasn't been doing that, it's no wonder he's in trouble."

"I'm so sorry," Justin said looking from the doctor to Brian.

"Let's hope we've caught this soon enough," Dr. Johansen said. "I can give you some literature about what you need to do for food, drink and routine." Justin nodded his thanks. "Let's get these tests underway and see what we're actually dealing with."

Dr. Johansen left the room to be replaced almost immediately with a technician who drew Brian's blood. Justin held on to Brian's hand wanting to talk but not knowing what to say. He felt so guilty about his part in all this.

An orderly arrived and wheeled Brian down to ultrasound. Justin was told he would have to wait in the cubicle until Brian returned. Alone in the small space Justin felt tears behind his eyes. He had been so stupid treating Brian like he was absolutely normal, when clearly he wasn't. He should have thought about the consequences of being in a wheelchair, but Brian made it seem so natural, and most of the time he forgot about the damn thing. Justin decided he would do some serious reading about the implications of being confined to a wheelchair. He owed that to Brian and to any possible future they might have together. He would read the pamphlets that Dr. Johansen had said he would provide. He would start to make better choices for both of them, if Brian still wanted him around.

By the time Brian returned Justin had worked himself into quite a state of worry and frustration and fear. Brian looked at him glumly as they wheeled him in.

"What happened?" Justin asked.

"Had the ultrasound. Now we wait," Brian said without any enthusiasm.

"Did they say anything?"

"The technicians aren't supposed to comment."

"So you know nothing more."

Brian shook his head. "If you want to go home … and paint, that's fine," he said looking at the floor not at Justin. "I'll be all right. Who knows how long it will take for the results."

"Do you want me to go?" Justin asked softly. He wondered if this was Brian's way of gently forcing him out of his life. Maybe Brian thought he would be better off without him. Then Brian would be able to follow his routines and schedules and eating habits. He wouldn't have anybody pushing him to do things he didn't want to do, and to eat things that were bad for him. Maybe everything he had tried to do for Brian had been a big mistake, and now Brian realized it too, and was pushing him away.

Brian stared into the blue eyes. Justin had no idea what Brian had gone through all those months ago, the rehab and the training and the endless adjustments to every part of his life. Maybe it would be best if they ended this now before they got in so deep they would both be hurt. The only problem with that was that Brian was already in too deep. He had banked everything on this young man, and he hadn't been so happy in such a long time. There was no way he could let Justin go. Even if it was selfish on his part, he knew he needed Justin, needed him profoundly and deeply and totally.

"I don't want you to go," Brian whispered. "I never want you to go."

Justin leaned in and kissed Brian softly and tenderly. "Then I'm here for the long haul," he whispered back as the tears started to flow from both of them.

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