Justin looked down at the dinner he had been cooking. Suddenly, his appetite was gone. He turned off the fire on the stove and followed Brian into the bedroom. Hands on his hips, he leaned against the doorjamb and watched as Brian dropped his towel and slid on a pair of sweatpants.
"Do you have to repeat it? Yes, but I'm fine now."
"How the fuck did you get it? You didn't fuck someone without a condom, did you?"
"You already asked me both of those questions. I don't know, and no, never." Brian looked down, then up again. "I wouldn't—I wouldn't endanger you like that. You know I wouldn't."
Justin crossed his arms over his chest, glared. "Except that you have. You just told me to get tested."
"It's just a precaution Justin, Christ. The doc told me to tell anyone I've had sexual contact with. So they can get tested."
"Good fucking luck. I wouldn't be surprised if all of Liberty had bad blood now."
Brian raised an eyebrow, folded his towel and tossed it back into the bathroom. Turning to step out of the bedroom to his computer, he muttered, "Nice to know someone has faith in you."
Justin scoffed loudly and moved back to the kitchen area. Brian heard him mutter, "Faith. Right," over the clatter of pans and cutting board as he threw their ruined dinner away. Then he sat back on the sofa and began to work on the comic.
They didn't look at each other for the rest of the night, not really. Every so often, Brian would throw fleeting glances at his blonde lover, trying to gauge emotion and tension. They went back to ignoring each other. Both went to bed stonily and without talking. When Brian rolled over, half-asleep, to spoon up against Justin, the blonde scooted angrily away, leaving Brian to sigh and turn back over.
Lying awake after Brian's breathing had evened out, Justin wondered what the future would bring for them. Living and communicating with Brian was like one step forward, three steps back. It was fucking impossible, and now even more so. Over the years, Brian had given in, in inches, in millimeters. And even then, Justin would have to force him. It was an exhausting push-pull dilemma. Justin knew Brian cared for him, maybe even loved him. He just didn't want to have to do this for the next eight years of his life.
Justin sighed and closed his eyes, scooting closer to the edge of the bed. His body automatically wanted to curl into Brian's, craved Brian's warm touch, but Justin's mind knew better than to give either of them that, that encouragement of bad behaviour and false hope for change. He sighed again, deeper this time, some attempt at catharsis, and closes his eyes to attempt sleep.