We just sat together on that bench for ages. Not speaking; Brian had told me all he wanted to get off his chest. He didn't need me to comment on it. He just needed me to know, and to understand.
I understood all right. I more than understood what a total prick his "best friend" is. God! I wish I'd been there when Mel laid into him. I know that Mel and Brian don't exactly get along, and sometimes to be honest I think she can be a real bitch. But she's an honest bitch. And she would never take kindly to someone cheating one of her friends. Especially after what her and Lindz went through with Ted.
Emmett told me about that. He was so upset about it, and he paid back all the money, but I think Michael pulling the same sort of stunt must have just about sent Mel into orbit. I so wish I'd been there.
But right now, I really wouldn't want to be anywhere but here. Brian's arm is warm around me, and mine is still tucked behind him, holding him while we just sit and enjoy being together. The clouds have cleared now, and you can see the sky. The stars are bright, and there's the tiniest sliver of a new moon reflecting in the dark water of the river. It's getting colder and I guess we should move soon, but this is just
"Ridiculously romantic," I hear myself saying.
He stiffens beside me and I realise that I should never ever have used the "r" word - well, the other "r" word.
"Brian, it's okay. It was a joke. I mean I know we're not some het couple, c'mon!"
He sits very still for a moment, and very silent. His silence is so deep it could drown the world.
Then he says, "I said that, those exact words. The night "
He stops, but I know which night. There's only one night he would ever have used those words. It's a killer that it's the one night of all those that we've spent together that I can't remember.
I rub my face against his shoulder, but don't say anything. I'm not sure that my voice would work, and besides, there's nothing to say.
He turns his face to me, and our mouths find their way to each other without our brains seeming to have anything to do with it. It's a long kiss. Sweet and wet.
Then he huffs a little sigh and says against my lips, "Ridiculously romantic."
And kisses me again.
Then, as one, we stand and take each other's hand and start the walk back to the car.
I can't believe he said that. I don't know if it means that he's starting to remember, or if it was just a fucking fluke.
I don't know if I want him to remember.
As long as he doesn't, then we can go on from where we are now. Maybe if he remembered, he'd we'd try to go back to how it felt then, and that would be such a huge fucking mistake. Things are good now. Better than they were then. That night might have been romantic, but this is real. This is this is how our lives can be. Every day. Every night. Not all happy sappy like some het sitcom; not all drama all the time like some damned soap. Just life good bits, bad bits. But together.
Which makes even the bad bits okay.
I'm going to need enough help not to fuck this up without trying to recapture that night. Maybe he is too.
But I know he feels cheated. I know damned well that's why he pushed so hard before with all the romance shit because he couldn't remember that night, and he wanted it back. And I refused to give it to him. To even try.
Except that I did try. With Daph at the loft, and later in the parking garage. I did try. And it nearly killed me. It tore me apart all over again. I just couldn't go back there.
I realize that I've put my arm around him and pulled him close to me as we walk. His arm is round my waist now, so I guess I'm stuck with walking like this all the way back to the car.
Shit! the car. I still have to talk to him about the car. As if I haven't fucking talked enough tonight.
But I want to go looking tomorrow, while we both have the time, so I guess it's either tonight or tomorrow morning.
If I put it off till then, then at least I'll be sure of getting some tonight. But he'll be even more pissed with me tomorrow.
Funny how I'm so sure that he's going to be pissed with me.
Maybe I can find a way to spin it. I mean, this afternoon changed things a bit. And I'm Brian Kinney for fuck's sake. I should be able to sell this to him.
Except that he usually sees right through all my bullshit, almost before I start. Still, I have to try. And I've surely racked up some brownie points tonight. So even if he is pissed, he might still come across. Hell! he'll be as horny as I am after just sitting close like that for fucking hours. This is probably the best time. Get him a bit hot and bothered, and tell him then while he's a bit distracted. That way
"Brian, what are you thinking about?"
Normally I would never ask him a question like that, but I swear as we walked back to the car you could practically see the wheels turning. There's this look that he gets when he's planning something and he's not sure I'm going to be thrilled about it, and that look was all over his face. I figured whatever it was, it was better to get it out in the open.
Maybe he just wants to go to
I'm not really up to it, but that's okay. He can go. I know he'll come home to me eventually.
It's funny, you'd think that after feeling so close to him tonight, the thought that he might want to go out tricking would just about kill me. But it's sort of the opposite. I know, really know, that it just wouldn't mean anything more than that he's had a rough week, and needs to relax a bit.
He gives me a sort of "sprung!" look, but we get to the car just then and so there's a few minutes while we get in and turn the heater on, and get rid of our coats, that he gets not to answer.
Then he starts the car and says just about the last thing I'd expected to hear. "I was thinking about going looking for a car tomorrow."
He's driving around again in his dream car and he shit!
"No, Brian," I say firmly. "No. Not happening."
He is so not buying me a car.
"No!" I don't even let him get started. That's the only way with Brian. He's all too good at talking people into things
"Justin, please. At least listen."
I fold my lips together and just stare out the window. I will not be his little boy toy. I will not.
"Look when I bought this car Michael called it boyfriend replacement therapy, and I guess it was in a way."
I can't believe he said that. I turn my head to stare at him. We pull up at some lights just then, and he gives me a look. Then he shrugs.
"Justin you know you know how I am. When you left, I " his voice fails for a moment and I have to touch him. I put my hand on his arm and he gives a little grin as the car moves forward again.
"Anyway, I went into you know back to being "
He laughs a bit and nods. "Yeah. That's it. So having a car that only had room for me and my trick de jour, that was it was part of it."
I nod. "Yes, okay, I see that. But what "
"That's not exactly who I am though any more. Is it?"
I fall silent, not quite knowing how to answer that. Not without setting off major hissy fits anyway.
He laughs again and reaches out to squeeze my thigh.
"Justin, I need we need a car that we can use to take Gus out with us. We can't do that in the `Vette."
I bite my lip. I hate to admit it but that does make sense.
"I thought when I picked my new company car I could choose something you know."
"A family car," I giggle. I can't help it. It's too good an opportunity to tease him.
"Fucker!" he says, but there's no anger there.
I grin at him.
"So you want to go shopping for a family saloon."
"Fuck no!" he shudders. "Another Jeep maybe. I don't know. Something like that. Something big enough for you and me and Gus and the new baby, I guess, later on. But not shit!"
"Okay, something big enough, but still cool and sexy."
"So we use that whenever we want to take Gus anywhere, and the rest of the time it sits in the garage."
He sneaks a look at me.
"Well " he says.
"Justin," he says back.
"Brian everyone will just think that you bought me a car. I hate that. I hate it that "
"Not everyone," he says quietly. "Michael."
I blush because he's hit the nail on the head with what my real problem is.
We arrive home then, and once more there's a pause in the conversation while we get ourselves out of the car and into the building. This time, I'm the one who gets the extra time to think up a response.
In the elevator he pulls me close and starts kissing my neck, sucking on the pulse spot just below my jaw which he knows drives me crazy. I push him away.
"Just tell me one thing," I demand.
He rolls his tongue around his cheek, but nods.
"Never mind the `Vette. Were you planning on buying a second car anyway?"
He sucks his lips in for a moment, then as the elevator arrives at the top, he nods. I sigh. At least I can rely on him to be honest about that sort of stuff. Well, about most things; unless the biggest lie he's telling is to himself - like with all that `I don't believe in love' bullshit.
We get the door of the loft open, and he starts again, "Justin, listen "
"No. I've told you. I won't have it, Brian. I won't."
"Look, before, when we didn't have the money, then you wasting time you don't have, riding all over town on the damned buses, made some sort of sense. But now that we do "
His head goes up and back like I've slapped him. He takes a deep breath, and then says steadily, "*We* have the money. *We* do. Or what's the point?"
I stare into his eyes for a long moment while my heart and my brain fight it out. My heart is saying, `Yes! Yes! Yes! He's right.' and my brain is saying `this is too much, too soon, slow down'.
Somehow, I shake free of both of them and move into a clear space where all the possible paths our relationship could take from here seem to spread out before me, branching in so many different directions it should be nothing but confusion, but for some reason the right path is suddenly really obvious.
The right path is the one that doesn't hurt Brian. The one that doesn't throw back in his face all that he's trying so hard to give me. I don't mean the damned car. I mean his trust, his love, his commitment to me, to us. The right path is the one that doesn't sacrifice all that in no better cause than my false pride.
I smile at him a bit shakily, and he relaxes and I see in his eyes that he knows it's alright. That he knows I've heard what he's saying to me. And that I agree.
It is *we*. It has to be *us*, or what we're doing, everything we've been through doesn't make any sense at all.
His eyes get that glow in them then and he sticks his tongue in his cheek again.
"Besides," he drawls, "the `Vette might be as sexy looking as hell, but it's fucking useless when it comes to real action."
I go to him and, taking hold of his belt, pull him forward against me. He gives me the same tongue in cheek grin and I grab his shoulders and push down on them hard. He sinks to his knees and kneels there, looking up at me.
Slowly, I undo my pants.
His eyes aren't on my face anymore, and his tongue flicks over his lips. I feel my cock jump just at the sight of it.
Without using his hands at all, he leans forward and mouths and licks at my cock until it hardens. Then he presses his open mouth against the underside of the shaft and I can feel his tongue fluttering against the largest vein. It feels incredible and I let out a little moan.
His mouth moves up to cover the head and he suckles it gently. I reach down and start fisting myself while he goes on suckling and I feel the precum start to weep from my slit. I'm getting close, and I don't want to cum like this, but I don't want him to stop, either.
He takes the decision from me, slurping up the precum with his tongue and then standing and kissing me deeply so I can taste myself in his mouth.
He kisses me again, his hands cupping the back of my head and tangling in my hair. Then he drops a little kiss on my nose.
"Bed," he says. "It's too fucking uncomfortable out here."
We fucked each other damned near into a coma and now we're just lying here together and nothing in my whole fucked up life has ever felt this good.
I don't want to think anymore. Especially not about the moment when I thought it was all about to go to Hell. The moment before he smiled at me and saved me. Again. But there is one more thing I have to make sure he knows.
While he's curled against my side with his head in the hollow of my shoulder, I say, "Justin. I understand about the need to feel independent, to stand on your own feet. I do."
I want to tell him that he more than stands on his own feet, more than pulls his own weight, that he's fucking carrying me plus all my baggage half the time, but I don't know how. So I just say, "Let's go tomorrow and look for a car. We'll insure it for both of us, but after that I'll leave it up to you whether you want to drive it."
He gives a sort of chuckle, his breath tickling my bare skin.
"You won't pout if I decide not to?"
"Probably," I answer sleepily.
He kisses my shoulder.
"Sometimes it's sexy when you pout," he says.
"Mm," I grunt. I'm relaxed now that I've told him. I'm almost asleep.
His arm wraps around me a little bit tighter.
I'm not sure what he's thanking me for exactly. I don't know if even he's sure. But it doesn't matter. None of that matters. Only this. Only this place that's us together. Only this warmth and safety and peace.
We wake up fairly early in the morning, and, instead of just fucking the extra time away, we decide to get up and get going. Without talking about it, we both know that we want to be out of the loft before anyone can come round to visit. They can't barge in on us anymore, at least, but that's not going to stop them trying to hammer the door down.
For the same reason we don't go to the diner. Neither of us want to deal with Mikey - or with Deb, who is bound to stick her nose into it on dear Mikey's behalf. God only knows what he's told her about it all, but it doesn't matter. No matter what's happened, what Michael has done, how many people he's hurt - Ben, me, Mel, Brian - it's going to be all Brian's fault, and I just can't hear that this morning.
Suddenly I'm really glad that I can quit my job at the diner. I love Deb, and hell, yes, I'm grateful to her. But she she's Michael's mom. When it all comes down, that's the thing that counts. Which is okay. I mean, everyone's got a right to expect their mom to be on their side. But it seems like it's always at Brian's expense. She can't accept that darling Michael might behave like an idiot or a total little shit because that's what he is, so it has to be Brian who has "made" him act like that.
Jesus! He's over thirty, and he's still getting away with blaming his friends for leading him astray. My mom wouldn't let me get away with that when I was five. She would never have let me get away with blaming any of my actions on someone else. I guess I should thank her for that, because I sure as hell wouldn't have wanted to grow up into Michael.
That thought makes me chuckle as we get out of the elevator, and Brian quirks an eyebrow at me.
I can't explain, so I just nudge him with my shoulder and say, "So, are we looking for another Jeep, or something a bit less "
"Oh, I dunno. Gay?"
He gives me one of his patented Kinney you're on thin ice looks and I laugh again.
"Well, macho-gay, then."
"C'mon, Brian. You know it. It's every gay boy's dream to have a car like that to strut their stuff in. It might as well have a "I'm a big horny Top" sign on it."
His eyes twinkle with laughter then, and I grin at him, happy to see it.
"Now that might be an idea. Except that I won't be the one driving it. We'd need to paint a "I'm really a sweet and soft little Twinkie bottom" sign to go on the back."
As we walk to the car I punch his arm.
"I was hard enough for you last night," I retort.
"I made do," he grins.
"I seem to recall that I did the making I made you pant," I back him up against the car, not caring if anyone sees us, and rub one hand over his crotch, while I put the other up round his neck.
"And I made you moan," I kiss him, and slide my arm around him so that my hand leaves his crotch, and cups his ass.
"And I made "
Deep kiss, harder squeeze, grind up against him.
"And beg "
Deep and deeper kiss. Hardly any breath now. His hands holding my head at just the right angle for his tongue to stroke the roof of my mouth, both my hands on his ass now, pulling him harder against me.
"Me to fuck you."
The last words take up all my breath and after that there's just the sounds our mouths make on each other's.
Then he pushes me away.
"Fuck!" he says. Appreciative and exasperated and frustrated all at once.
"Later," I say, opening the car door. "We have to get the fuckmobile first."
As we drive off it suddenly comes to me that I'm going to drive the car, our car. I'm not only going to drive it, I'm going to flaunt that I'm driving it.
Michael can interpret that as another example of my using Brian all he wants.
I know what the real interpretation is. Brian and I both know what it really means. It means we're `we'; we're `us'. It's as much a symbol of that as if he'd put a fucking ring on my finger. And a hell of a lot more practical.
Now I can hardly wait to find a car. And to show it off.
Maybe we should have lunch at the diner on the way home.