Work Me Over

Brian sat in Dr. Frank's waiting room.  At his feet was the infamous box.  He had agreed to see Frank again, and had decided at the last minute that he would bring the box.  If he found it too hard to talk about the contents, at least Frank would be able to see them.


The door to Frank's office opened and someone left.  Brian hardly noticed these events.  He was fixated on the box.  He couldn't take his eyes off it, but he didn't want to touch it.  Suddenly he felt Frank's hand on his arm.


"Brian," Frank said calmly, "I've called your name twice.  Are you coming in?"


Brian looked up and stood immediately.  He bent over and reluctantly picked up the box, following Frank into the office.  Brian sat in his usual chair and placed the box on the other one that Justin usually sat in.


"You came alone," Frank noted.




"Any particular reason?"


"I think Justin's been through enough.  I got the feeling he thought this would work better if it was just you and me."


"Your instincts are good, as always.  He told me as much before he left last time."

"I…I shouldn't have walked out on you like that," Brian said.


"There are no locks here.  You can do whatever you want."

"I know, but you can't help me if I'm not here."


"Does that mean you're asking for help?"




"That's good.  Now maybe we can get somewhere."

"I sure as fuck hope so."

"Don't sound so defeated, Brian.  We haven't even started."

"I guess I feel like there is nothing that anyone can do."



"It's all from so long ago.  I thought it had gone away, and now it's all back."

"Is this the box that caused all the trouble?"

Brian nodded.  "I thought if I couldn't talk about it, you could at least look at it."

"You'll talk about it, Brian," Frank said levelly.  "You need too."

"How do you figure that?"

"Look at the hold it has over you.  The only way to break that is to face it and talk about it."


"I don't know," Brian said shaking his head.


"Trust me on this, Brian."

"Okay, doc.  I'll have to hope you know what you're doing.  So where do we start?"

"We could start with the box, but Justin seemed to think this had something to do with the death of your co-worker."


Brian made a face.  "About a month ago one of my assistants died at work, right in front of me in fact."

"And that shook you up?"

"Wouldn't it shake anybody up?"

"Yes."  Frank waited.


"I kind of lost it for a week or two."


"Lost it how?" Frank asked.


"I felt like it should have been me.  Jack, the guy who died, was actually a bit younger than I am.  He was married with a daughter about the age of Gus.  He has a lovely wife and was a church-going good man."

"So you, the hard-nosed atheist deserved to die instead of him?"

"Something like that."

"How did you get through it?"

"With help from Justin and his friend Daphne."

"I don't think I've heard you mention Daphne before."

"She's Justin's friend from high school.  She's studying psychology and sort of set him straight about pestering me and trying to make everything better.  She also realized that I was 'facing my own mortality' as she called it."


"Sounds like a smart girl."

"She is.  Justin calls her the president of my fan club."


"Does she have a crush on you?"

"Not really … well maybe.  I do like her a lot and I think she likes me."

"It's good to have friends that can help."

"Yeah.  Anyway I sort of got over that, then Justin found the box.  We agreed to put it away and not discuss it until I was ready.  I thought that might be never."


"You hoped?"


"Exactly.  But then an acquaintance of ours was killed in a head-on car crash and everything came pouring back into my mind.  That's when I kind of went off the deep end.  I really scared Justin, and finally he forced me to tell him what was the matter."

"So it was a whole combination of events that led up to you revealing the significance of the box."

"I didn't want to.  I warned Justin that there would be major fallout, but he pushed me to tell him.  Everything has been awful ever since."

"Do you know why this has affected you so much?"


"It's about the person who made me the way I am and the events that destroyed everything."

"Destroyed everything?"

"It might be easier if we opened the box and I told you what it represents."


Frank smiled.  That was exactly what he wanted Brian to do. 


"I…I have trouble touching these things," Brian admitted.  "Could you take them out and I'll tell you about them?"


"If that's how you want to do it," Frank agreed.


They spent the rest of the session with Frank removing item after item and Brian telling him much the same things he had revealed to Justin.  Somehow they managed to get through it all.  By the end of the hour Brian looked exhausted, but he had managed to hold it together.


"I think we should stop there, Brian.  I'd like you to think over what you told me today and see if you've left anything out.  Do you think you could come back tomorrow afternoon?  You look like you need a break now, but we also need to deal with this as soon as possible."

"I guess I could come tomorrow, if you think that's best."

"I do.  I'll see you then," Frank said placing the items back in the box.  "Do you want to take it with you?" 

"Can we leave it here?  I don't know if we'll need to look at these things again, but I don't want to be carrying them around."

"That's fine, Brian.  I'll put them in the closet until tomorrow."

"Thanks, Frank."


"Brian, you did really well today.  Go home to Justin and get some rest."

"Why?  Are you going to work me over real good tomorrow?"

"Maybe," Frank chuckled, glad to see some humor from Brian.


"I can hardly wait," Brian said with some of his old sarcasm.




When Brian arrived home, Justin had a lovely dinner all ready.  He had managed to get away from the gallery in time to have it cooked and waiting for Brian.  Neither man said much after a perfunctory greeting.  They sat down and Brian kind of picked at his meal.  Justin was hungry and ate quite a bit.


"Do you want to tell me what happened with Frank?" Justin asked, wanting to know why Brian was even more quiet now.


"There's not much to tell.  We went through the things in the box and I told him what I already told you about them."


"Did you get to what happened to Eamonn?"

Brian's face screwed up in pain at the memory.  "I thought we'd save that piece of fluff for tomorrow," Brian said sarcastically.


"You're going again tomorrow?" Justin asked, deliberately ignoring the sarcasm.


"Frank seems to think I need immediate care."


"That's good, I guess," Justin offered.


"What's good about it?  He thinks I'm unable to last a few days till the next appointment."

"Brian, I'm sure he just wants to get to the heart of the matter as soon as possible."

"Sure, Sunshine," Brian said.  "You think that if you like."  Brian pushed his mostly uneaten food away.  Justin took that as his signal that dinner was over.


"Are you tired?" Justin asked.


"A bit."

"Want to go to bed?  We could get some exercise and then call it an early night."

"You trying to make it all better with sex?"


"Yes," Justin said honestly.


"It's worth a try," Brian tried to joke.


Justin appreciated the effort at humor.  There had been so little of that lately.  He moved around the table and sat in Brian's lap.


"I love you, you know.  I'm glad you agreed to go talk to Frank.  I want everything to be all right again."


"So do I."

Justin began kissing across Brian's face, finally stopping at his mouth with a deep and sensuous kiss.  He could feel Brian's cock stiffening under his ass.  He continued with the kiss, at the same time opening Brian's shirt and running his hands over Brian's bare chest.  He heard the man groan and knew he was getting to him.


"Come to bed," Justin ordered, standing and pulling Brian towards the bedroom.


They quickly got rid of their clothes and knelt on the bed facing each other.  Cocks were already at attention, but Justin was enjoying the kissing and he continued to caress Brian's lips and tongue with his own tongue.  They moaned their satisfaction and wrapped their arms around each other to get as much pressure in the kiss as they could.


"You are a wonderful kisser," Brian gasped as they ended the kiss so that each could get some air.


"I had a good teacher," Justin grinned.


Brian smiled at him and pulled him into a luxurious kiss of his own.


"Make love to me, Brian," Justin requested.


Brian laid him down on his back and continued the kiss.  He moved it down Justin's neck, across his shoulder and down to his nipples.  There he sucked and squeezed using lips and fingers.  Justin moaned.  Brian's mouth continued its journey down to the navel where it licked and nipped at the hole.  He followed the trail of blond hair down to the pubes where he nuzzled his face and drew a gasp from Justin.  His hand gently took the straining cock, his thumb running across the slit.  Justin moaned again.


Brian pushed Justin's legs up and buried his face between his thighs.  He sucked on the boy's balls until he felt Justin grab his hair.  He backed off at that and turned his attention to Justin's pink little pucker.  It seemed to blink up at him in anticipation of what was to come.  He dove in, his tongue licking and pressing in.  He felt Justin arch his back and heard the groan.  His tongue darted in and out and Justin's cries grew louder.


"Please, Brian, please, fuck me!"


Brian donned a condom and pressed in.  Justin was always tight and that initial opening always made him gasp.  Brian loved that sound.  He knew that Justin belonged to him when he heard it.  He pressed in the rest of the way and stopped.  Justin opened his eyes and looked at this man who was so strong and so messed up, but who he loved beyond words.


Brian began to pump slowly and deeply rotating his hips and finding Justin's prostate.  He went so slowly that Justin thought he would explode.  Brian refused to touch his cock and every time Justin reached for it, Brian pushed his hand away.  Sweat beaded on both their bodies, Brian continuing to pump and Justin meeting each thrust.  They both moaned and panted as Brian continued his rhythm.


Justin's reactions were becoming more frantic.  Still Brian refused to allow contact with his cock other than when their two bodies slammed together.  Justin was calling out Brian's name, pleading and begging and exhorting his lover to finish him off.


Justin felt his balls rise up and knew he was going to shoot at any moment.  He screamed Brian's name and came with a force he had seldom achieved. 


Justin's scream sent Brian over the edge.  Jolts of electricity radiated from his groin and he unloaded into the condom as Justin's tight hole contracted around him.  "I love you," he moaned as the last of his orgasm swept through him.  He slumped down next to Justin gasping, covered in sweat, but feeling better than he had in weeks.


They lay still for a minute or two, trying to breathe normally.  Brian felt Justin turn and begin wiping the cum off his chest.


"Thank you," Brian whispered.


"For what?"


"For that, and for being here, and for sticking with me when I've been so shitty to you."

"You're welcome," Justin replied, pulling Brian against him.  "I love you.  I want it to be like this, not the way it has been lately."

"That's what I want too," Brian admitted.


"And we'll get there with Frank's help," Justin said.  "Let's sleep," he yawned.


They woke in almost the same position when the alarm went off, still pressed against each other.  It was the best night's sleep either of them had had in quite awhile.




Brian arrived at Frank's office the next day, dreading the part of the story he was going to have to tell.  He slumped down into the chair in front of Frank's desk.


"Did you get some rest last night?" Frank asked.


"I slept very well actually," Brian stated.


"Glad to hear that.  Are you ready to tell me the rest of the story of you and Eamonn?"


"If I have to."


"You do," Frank said.


Brian grimaced but began to tell about Eamonn leaving him and then trying to come back.  He managed to tell Frank about the police coming to the door before he began to sob silently and couldn't continue.


"What happened to him, Brian?  You need to get it out."


Brian sucked in a breath and yelled, "He drove his fucking car into an abutment at eighty fucking miles an hour!"


"I see," Frank said gently.


"You see?" Brian screamed.  "You don't see anything!  I had to go see him and make positive ID when he was hardly recognizable.  Fucking prick!  I thought he was smarter than that!"


"So do you blame him or yourself?" Frank asked.


"Both!" Brian retorted.


"He made that choice, Brian.  You didn't."


"But he made it because of me."


"Do you think you would have been able to take him back?"


"No, of course not, that's why I told him not to come to the apartment."


"Then what could you have done differently?"

"I don't know.  Talk to him?"


"Great talker that you are, that was not really in the realm of possibility, was it?"


"Probably not, but I should have tried."


"Where is his responsibility in this?  Isn't he the one who left you, who devastated you, who made all the promises and then broke them all?"

"Yes, but nobody deserves to be dead because of broken promises."


"Maybe so, but I think you did what you needed to do for your own self-preservation.  He wasn't strong enough to do the same."

Brian stopped at Frank's last statement and stared at the man, seeming to gauge the truth of what he had said.  "Maybe that's the trouble, Frank.  I survive, fucked up piece of shit that I am, and people like Eamonn and Jack and Tad don't make it.  I don't understand."

"I know you think religion is a crock of shit, but that's the kind of question that all religions try to answer.  Only some sort of faith or belief in karmic fatality can explain why one person lives and another dies."


"Philosophy 101," Brian said skeptically.


"Man has always looked for answers, even where none are possible."

"That's when we invent God and religion."

"Yes.  We need something bigger and more powerful than ourselves to help explain the universe and its injustices."

"At least you call them injustices.  There sure are a fucking lot of them."

"You know, you're always saying how Justin tries to fix things, but it hasn't escaped my notice that you do more than your fair share of the same thing.  You take on blame and try to control everything.  It must be very tiring."

"It is," Brian admitted before he really realized what he was saying.  He could feel himself blush and looked up sheepishly at Frank.


"It's all right, Brian.  I won't tell anybody."

"Thanks, doc."

"Did you think about whether there was anything you had forgotten to tell me yesterday?"


"Like what?" Brian asked.


"Brian, surely it hasn't escaped your attention that there are a lot of parallels between your relationship with Eamonn and Justin's with you."


"Don't go there, Frank," Brian warned.  "They're not the same at all."


"I beg to differ.  They are very similar.  I think it's the outcome that worries you more than the similarity."



"You can deny it all you want, but it's there and it's something we need to deal with."

"I don't think so." 


"Well I do.  I want you to come here again tomorrow."

Brian groaned.


"And I want you to think about what I just said, because that's what we're going to talk about tomorrow."


Brian stood up.  He was debating telling Frank to go fuck himself and never coming back.  Frank's voice interrupted his thoughts.


"You can tell me to fuck off.  I can't make you come back tomorrow, but I think you're smarter than that.  I think you're smarter than Eamonn.  See you tomorrow."

Brian walked out of the office without saying anything more.




Brian went home wondering what he was going to do.  He knew he couldn't go back to see Frank and talk about Eamonn's choices and his death in the same context as Justin and himself.  It wasn't the same.  It couldn't be the same.


Justin was waiting for him when he got to the loft.  He had another lovely dinner ready.  Brian wished he hadn't bothered.  He didn't feel like eating and he felt even less like talking.  He knew that's what Justin would want to do when they sat down at the table.


"I'm going to bed," Brian said abruptly, ignoring the dinner laid out in front of him.


"Aren't you hungry?" Justin asked.


"No, I'm tired."

"Was it a hard session?"


"Don't … just don't," Brian warned.


Justin kept the rest of his questions to himself.  "Want some company?" he offered instead.


"If we don't have to talk."

Justin nodded and they retired to the bedroom for some basic and not overly satisfying sex.  Brian was holding back, preoccupied with what to do about his next visit with Frank, and Justin was too worried to really enjoy what they were doing.  Once they finished, Justin curled up against Brian vowing to himself not to say anything. They lay like that for quite awhile, neither inclined to sleep but drawing some comfort from the closeness of the other.


"Do you think your relationship with me is like my relationship with Eamonn?" Brian asked out of the blue.


Justin wasn't sure how to answer that.  "I've thought about it," Justin said carefully.


"You have?"  Brian asked pushing Justin far enough away so that he could look into his eyes.



"Do you think they're the same?"


"No, but I do see some similarities."


Brian grimaced and pulled Justin close.  "We couldn't end up like that, could we?" he whispered.


"I don't think so," Justin said softly.


"Jesus, that's what Frank wants to talk about tomorrow."


"So, talk about it."

"I can't."

"Yes, you can.  You can do anything you want to.  Do you want me to come with you?"


"I haven't decided if I'm going?"


"What?  You can't stop now."

Brian closed his eyes.  He wasn't sure why he had brought this up, but he had wanted to see if Justin had recognized the similarities, when he had refused to admit them himself.  He wished he had kept his mouth shut.


"You will go, won't you?" Justin had to ask.


Brian kissed him instead of a verbal reply.  He didn't know what he was going to do.  He didn't want to talk about this with Frank, with Justin, with anyone.  All he wanted to do was wipe that possibility from his mind.  He began to work his magic on Justin's body.  It was going to be a long sleepless night, so he would have to fall back on sex to get him through it.  Either that or blow his brains out.




Brian stood in front of the building which housed Dr. Frank Jameson's office.  He looked up at the banks of windows, undecided about whether he could make himself go through the door.  He had managed to get this far, but a part of him was screaming for him to turn and run.  He didn't want to face what he was afraid Frank was going to dig into.


His thoughts went to Justin.  The boy had told him to go to this session.  He seemed to think Brian needed to get this out.  None of them realized how hard he had worked to keep it in, to keep it secret.


The Jeep was down the street.  He could turn around and get in it and go home.  But Justin would be there waiting to see how things went.  How could he explain to the strong young man that he was such a coward?


He took a breath and pushed open the door.  He was already late, but he willed himself to get in the elevator and go up to the office.  Frank was in the waiting room when he entered.


"Brian, I'm glad you came.  I was beginning to worry."

"I almost didn't," Brian replied.


"I know.  You've always been very punctual before.  Come on in."

They went into the office, assuming their usual seats.


"I really am glad you made this decision.  I think it's very crucial that we examine your relationship with Eamonn and now the one with Justin."

"Why?" Brian asked.


"Why do we need to examine it?"


"Yes, why?"


"Don't you think both relationships are integral parts of your life?"


"Yes, I guess so, but one is long gone and has nothing to do with Justin."

"What if it does have some bearing on Justin?" Frank asked gently.


"It doesn't!" Brian said vehemently.


"We might come to that conclusion, but we might not.  Can't we look at it objectively and see?"

"That's not possible.  I can't be objective about Eamonn or Justin.  I don't want to do this."

"If you don't, you are probably going to go back to sniping at Justin, and maybe drive him away."


"How can you say that?  You don't know!"


"I know what brought you here, and if we don't get to the heart of it, then it will most likely cause the same problems again."

Brian sighed.  "Fuck!" he muttered.


"I didn't say it would be easy, but it is necessary."

"All right," Brian said slowly, "but I may walk out on you again."


"I'm a big boy.  I can take it."

"I wish I was."

"That's a strange thing to say.  Don't you think you're a big boy?"

"Lindsay tells me that Justin is light years ahead of me in emotional development.  Even Justin says that he's the most mature person I know.  I'm an emotional baby and I've surrounded myself with people who keep me that way."

"Really?"  Frank was surprised at this revelation from Brian.  "I certainly don't know your friends and how mature they are, but you seem to have made quite a good life for yourself all things considered.  If you're such a baby, why does a fine young man like Justin stick with you?"


"Excellent sex!" Brian replied tongue in cheek.


Frank chuckled.  "I'm sure that's part of the equation, but I can't believe that's all Justin sees in you."

"He is a bit of a masochist where I'm concerned.  Whatever I do to him, he comes back for more."


"Except with Ethan."


"Yeah, but even then he agreed to come back."

"And you've been together ever since?"


"Yes, even though Justin went to New York for five months.  We managed somehow."


"Not many relationships could stand a separation like that.  You must be doing something right."

"Maybe," Brian said, thinking that over.


"You give your love carefully, Brian, but when you do you are very fierce about it.  Is that what you're afraid of?  That somehow having given your love to Justin he will let you down again, like Eamonn did?"


"Yes … maybe … no, I'm afraid I will let him down.  I'm the Eamonn in this relationship."

"Why, because you're the right age to be him?"


"Partly, but also because … I … I've …" Brian stopped and stared at the floor unable to continue.


"Can you finish that thought?" Frank requested.


Brian shook his head.  "I … I …"


"Please, Brian, this is important."

"I'm like Eamonn because I tried to kill myself."

"You did? When?"

"My thirtieth birthday.  I thought my life was over.  I didn't want to get old, so I tried scarfing.  I could easily be dead right now if Michael hadn't caught me.  Maybe it would be better if I was."


"What's scarfing?" Frank had to ask.


"You put a scarf around your neck like a noose and jack off.  Drugs enhance the intensity.  It's supposed to be the fucking greatest orgasm of all time and if you collapse and hang yourself, you go out blissfully happy."

"Jesus, I never heard of that before."


"You obviously don't hang out with the right crowd."

"I guess not.  Did you really mean to kill yourself?"


"I'm not exactly sure.  I didn't care if I died, but I didn't really think about it too much."


"To paraphrase your own words, 'nobody deserves to be dead just because they were seeking the ultimate orgasm'."


Brian gave a cynical chuckle.  "But isn't that the parallel you were looking for between me and Eamonn – that we both tried to off ourselves, only he succeeded."

"How could I be looking for that when I didn't even know you had done it?"




"There are other less dramatic parallels."


"Like what?"

"That's what I want you to tell me."

"Can't you just say it and save us both a lot of time?"

"I need you to do this for yourself."


"I don't know what you want me to say," Brian sighed.

"The contents of the box were all declarations of love in one way or another," Frank began.  "They scare you because of what they represent.  That's where the parallels lie."


"What?  In a fucking cashmere sweater?"

"Interesting that you chose that one first," Frank observed.


"Why?  It's how Eamonn taught me about …"


"Stop at taught!" Frank ordered.


Brian stopped and Frank could see him mulling over his words and searching for the connection.  Literally the light went on.  "I'm Justin's teacher like Eamonn was mine."  Frank nodded.  "He taught me about sex and I taught Justin."

"Aren't there lots of other things that were taught as well?"

"Yes, style and standing up for yourself and going after what you want.  But … and there's a very big but … I tried to teach Justin to avoid some of the things that I had faced.  That's why I never told him I loved him, why I never made promises I couldn't keep, why I forced him to go away from me to grow up on his own."

"It's all the same, Brian.  You were teaching Justin the truths as you know them.  Don't you think Eamonn was doing the same thing with you?"

"No, he fucking lied to me!  He lied about his love!  He betrayed me!"


"Didn't you do the same thing to Justin in reverse?  By refusing to admit that you loved him, you drove him away and nearly destroyed both of you.  Isn't that just as bad?"


"No!" Brian yelled.  "No!  No.  No.  No … no … no, no, no."  What started as a yell became a whimper and then a groan.  Brian bent over in abject misery, clutching his gut, as the truth of Frank's words cut to his core.


"Brian, I just want you to realize that you and Eamonn were doing what you thought was best.  The results can't always be predicted.  Neither of you meant things to turn out badly.  We do what we have to do, what seems right at the time.  We do what we have learned to do based on past experiences that we have either accepted or rejected."


Brian remained bent over.  Another moan escaped his lips.


"Brian, I'm not trying to hurt you.  I just want you to understand …"


Frank didn't get to finish that statement.  Brian stood suddenly, wheeled around and bolted from the office.


"Brian!" Frank called after him, but to no avail.  Frank slumped down in his chair. He hoped he hadn't pushed too far this time.

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