Dead Like...?

Author's Note: I have absolutely no idea where this one came from. The first line wrote itself, and after that, I just sort of followed it through.


It was cold when Brian opened his eyes.

He wasn't sure where he was. Not in the loft, that was the only thing he knew for certain. He tried to remember where he'd been last night; who he'd been with; what he'd taken. But it was all just a blur.

"More fucking bad shit from that cunt Anita," he growled to himself. Had he been at Babylon?

He got up. It wasn't until he saw his body lying right where he'd left it on the slab in the morgue that he remembered.

As much as he was anywhere, he was in Chicago. His connecting flight home two days ago had been grounded due to bad weather and, rather than sit around the airport for hours, he'd elected to head into the city to see if he could find a way to while away the time. He'd found plenty of action, alright, but hadn't bargained on becoming the victim of some fag-hating right wing nutter with a knife.

Some kids had stolen his wallet and anything else worth having before the police had even reached the scene.

Since no one here knew who he was, and no one who did knew he was even in Chicago, his body looked like staying where it was for a good long time.

For some reason, those thoughts made Brian - or whatever was left of Brian - feel deeply depressed.

The thought that at home Justin would either be going out of his mind with worry, or cursing him for being a totally thoughtless prick would have made him frantic, if he'd let himself dwell on it.

Instead, he concentrated on trying to get out of here.

Now that he'd remembered his situation, he knew that he'd already tried a number of times to leave the morgue.

He'd once got as far as the street before, with a dizzying sensation that even in his current disembodied state made him feel nauseous, he'd been dragged back into this fucking room.

When at rest, his mind wandered towards Justin, and there was simply no point in that. So his little Sunshine was going to be devastated by him once again. Too fucking bad! He'd just have to suck it up and get over it. Probably the best thing that could have happened. Just cut all the agonizing over their fucking "relationship" short, that's all.

Refusing to let himself dwell on things he couldn't help, Brian once more prowled around the walls, determined that he wasn't going to think of Justin. Couldn't afford to. He had his own problems, and he had to deal with them. Could not spend the rest of his whatever-the-hell this was stuck in here, that was for damned sure.


Two more days, and he was still stuck there.

He was going mad with boredom, and finding it harder and harder to keep his thoughts from wandering to Justin, and wondering what he was thinking.

He knew that Justin couldn't know yet what had happened to him, because they still hadn't identified his body.

What the fuck was the little twat thinking? That he'd gone off on some major binge and just neglected to phone home? That he'd had a panic attack at how close they were getting now that Justin was back from LA and finally at home in the loft with him where he belonged?

Except … not with him.

Not with him ever again.

Brian shook his head, and tried once more to get the hell out of there. He'd tried walking through doors, walls and people. He'd tried to do the whole "Body and Soul" thing and take possession of the morgue workers' bodies. He'd tried clinging to the empty gurneys as they wheeled them out, and then tried to somehow meld with the dead bodies as they'd been taken off to funeral homes or autopsy tables.

He'd even tried dissipating into air and flowing out through the air-conditioning.

Nothing fucking worked!


Three more days and now it was impossible not to be thinking of Justin. Of all of them. Surely by now they'd realized that there was something wrong. They must be going crazy. Mikey would be doing his "half Italian, half drag queen" hysterical routine. Lindsay would be crying. Ted and Cyn would be frantically trying to hold the business together and reschedule appointments that he was never going to keep.

And Justin …

Brian sagged in despair.

Mikey had Ben. Ted and Cyn would support each other. Lindsay had Mel now that they were back together. But Justin?

His heart ached as he thought of his lover, his partner.

"I didn't mean it, Sunshine," he whispered. "I didn't mean to leave you."

Feeling weak and exhausted, he let himself slip back into his body. The cold ate into what would once have been his bones, but he'd lost the will to fight his way free of it. He let it claim him, take him, lure him back into oblivion.

"I love you, Justin," he said sadly, as his consciousness faded.


"He said something," a voice insisted. "He said something. He said my name."

"Justin …" Michael didn't know what to say. He felt tears stinging his eyes again. Once, he wouldn't have thought it possible to cry this much. But that was long ago. A week ago. Before the phone call had come.

"Justin," Ben took up. "I know that you want to believe that, but …" He stopped and looked at Michael who nodded sadly. "He wouldn't have wanted to go on like this, hooked up to these machines. You know that."

Justin shook the friendly hand from his arm and glared at them both.

"He said something!" he repeated. "And I'm fucked if I'm going to let you switch off my partner's life, just because you fucking want to get back to Pittsburgh. Go! Fuck off out of here! Just …"

His voice broke then and the tears he'd been forcing back for hours, days, started to spill. He shook his head to clear them away, and saw the hurt on Michael's face. He hardened his heart against it.

Fucking Brian! Justin was going to kill him after this. Once he'd come out of this fucking coma, Justin decided, he was going to murder him. Slowly. Partly for putting him through all this shit, but mainly for not fucking changing his living will, and leaving fucking Mikey to be the one who could pull the fucking plug.

Mikey isn't your fucking partner, he wanted to rage at his lover. I am. Why the fuck didn't you tell me about this shit, so we could have got it changed?

In exasperation he thumped his fist onto the bed.

"I love you, Justin."

The words were just above a whisper, but this time they all heard them.

"Brian!" Justin turned to his lover and clasped his hand, fighting the desire to throw himself on top of Brian. The tubes poking from various parts of his lover's anatomy seemed to indicate that would be a bad idea.

He stroked Brian's hand, while Michael and Ben tumbled into the corridor to fetch a nurse.

"Brian," he whispered. "I love you, too, you asshole!"

"'Eram I?" Brian mumbled past the dryness in his lips and throat. "Fucking 'Nita," he said.

Justin kissed his fingers.

"Serves you right for taking drugs that aren't prescribed by a physician or recommended by a reliable pharmacist," he said, giddy with relief and happiness.

He saw the corners of Brian's mouth turn up and then at last the hazel eyes opened.

The man didn't say anything, just looked at him for a long moment, before smiling, and closing his eyes again.


Should have known, he told himself, as sleep, warm and natural , claimed him.

Should have fucking known that all I had to do to get out of there was to think about him.

Should have known.

Should have just admitted right off that I fucking loved him. Should have known that once I did it would all be okay.

Am I never going to fucking learn?

He sank deeper into sleep, still clutching Justin's hand, and let the words tumble from his lips once more.

"I love you, Sunshine. I fucking love you."

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