Brian was right, his words about time are nearly prophetic. Post 513. Major character death. Inspired by this video by ScribbledDreaming: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=
Brian was right, his statement prophetic almost.
Brian came up to New York the weekend after Justin moved in to help him unpack. And to fuck his brains out. Justin's new roommate hadn't minded; in fact, he thought she may have been listening in. Justin had laughed and fooled around as they got his stuff unpacked. He'd had the incredible luck of meeting someone one his first day in the city who was moving out of his studio in order to move to California. Justin had taken up residence there, paying the landlord immediately, in cash and a little something extra.
He and Justin unpacked and organized the studio, and Brian relished in the sound of Justin's voice gushing about the light and the space and the ambience. He dutifully followed Justin's instructions on where to put what. This was Justin's space, and for once he wasn't going to say something when he thought something looked weird or wrong. They fucked again on the futon in a corner of the room, and then Justin got out an easel and painted Brian as he lounged on the mattress, smoking a cigarette and flipping through one of Justin's art books. The goodbye that night wasn't tearful, but they clung to each other hard, kissing again and again until Brian had to go through security and Justin wasn't allowed any further. Brian stared out the window of the plane, wishing he didn't feel as up in the air mentally as he was right now physically.
After that, things started getting hectic. Kinnetic was doing great, but Brian and his team were swamped with new clients clamoring to be satisfied. Then Debbie and Carl got married, and it was up to Brian to help out, like he did with the other two weddings of his family. Justin wasn't able to make the wedding because his boss was a complete dick. Brian offered to put the guy out of a job, but Justin refused. Then Ben got sick again, and Brian was spending every moment he wasn't at Kinnetic, with Mikey in the hospital. Thankfully, Ben managed to recover, and the whole family breathed a sigh of relief. Michael and Debbie mother-henned Ben for days. It was a month before Brian saw Justin again.
Justin made it back to Pittsburgh a few days after Ben was okayed to go back to work. Debbie had thrown a party, and everyone was merry and loud and drunk. More than once, Brian had turned to the side to say something to Justin and found the space beside him empty. He got sloshed and went home and fell into bed. His last thought before passing out was that he should have saved some cake for Sunshine.
Justin unlocked the door and stepped into the loft at eight AM on a Sunday morning. Brian was still asleep, and heard nothing. He didn't hear the thud of an overnight bag on the floor, or the chuckle that passed Justin's lips as the blonde noted his face smooshed against the pillow, he didn't feel Justin slide between the sheets on his side of the bed. When Brian woke up later, at around eleven, he stretched and, eyes still closed, rolled onto his left side to savor the half-asleep state that was always so comfortable. He felt breath across his face and frowned, his nose telling him that a certain blonde was nearby. He opened his eyes. Justin smiled down at him, wrinkling his nose as Brian tugged him down for a kiss despite morning breath.
They fucked in the shower, slow and languid, with Justin pressed against the glass, his hands making low squeaking noises as they slipped and slid, unable to get a purchase. They spent the day lounging around, happily discussing the affairs of Liberty Avenue, of the gang, of Justin's art and Brian's work. Later in the afternoon they got into the Corvette and drove out past Pittsburgh to the large house on the country edges of the Steel City. This time they explored every room in detail.
"Once I make it big," Justin laughed as they lay on a cloth-covered sofa and smoked a joint, "I'll move back and we'll live here."
"What'll I do with the loft?"
"It'll be our other headquarters. We can meet there if you're horny at lunchtime or if one of us is too fucking drunk to get home at night."
"Ah." He leaned over and plucked the joint from Justin's fingers, pinching it out and putting it away. Then he pounced, tickling his lover until they rolled off the couch and on to the floor.
Later, as they smoked their third joint, laying on the floor, laughing over something they couldn't remember and eating Pringles, Brian had suddenly turned serious.
Justin had stopped chuckling, taking a few deep breaths to steady the mirth. "Hm?"
"Promise me something, okay?"
"Sure, Brian. What is it?"
"Don't leave. Just, don't. Promise me you won't leave me."
Justin's hand shot out and tugged Brian close. "I promise." Brian nodded once, kissed him gently, and they'd gone back to goofing around and eating junk food.
The next day they hung out with the family. Debbie gushed over Justin and made him eat tons of food. Brian didn't want to watch; he could get fat just from looking at everything Justin was eating. Michael and Justin talked about how they were going to continue RAGE from different states, and Justin regaled Emmett with tales of the Big City.
This time the goodbye was more playful, a fuck in the bathroom, little pecking kisses and affectionate jokes. But they still clutched at each other at the gate, Brian whispering a secretive "I love you," before kissing Justin's head and pulling away. Justin smiled and kissed him deeply, declaring "I love you back" in a sure voice that made the corners of Brian's mouth tug upward. He squeezed Justin's hand. Justin squeezed back.
It was eight months later when he received the news, first in a convoluted and incoherent voicemail from Justin's roommate, and then in a stark, heart-stopping call from the hospital. The taxi Justin and his roommate had been in at three in the morning had been hit by a drunk driver in a pickup as they passed through an intersection. The roommate was fine. Justin and the taxi driver, not so much. They'd been rushed to the hospital, but the door had crushed into Justin, nicking an artery in his leg and smashing up his entire left side. He'd hit his head, too, and who knows what that might have done. He was conscious when they rescued him, but he'd passed out as he lost more and more blood. He'd flatlined just as they reached the hospital. They tried, but there was nothing they could do. They told Brian that he'd only said only two things as they pulled him out of the car and loaded him into the ambulance.
"Brian, where are you?" and "Fuck, I promised not to leave him. I promised."
Brian felt broken. Justin's body was flown back to Pittsburgh and they buried him on a Friday. The funeral had been overcast, with the sun trying desperately to break through the clouds. He and Jennifer had agreed on a headstone, and had each paid for half of it. Brian stared down at it now.
It's Only Time
"Dammit, Justin! Why do you always have to take everything literally?" Brian rubbed a tear from his face angrily. He sighed heavily, pulling a hand across his face. "Why'd I say that bullshit, anyway? You of all people should know I don't mean half the things I spew out. Fuck. There shouldn't be a never again. There just shouldn't."
He traced the letters in the headstone with his thumb. "I saw your last piece yesterday. Teresa shipped it to me. It's beautiful, Justin. We're beautiful. It's perfect for that spot over the bed. Except I can't think of anything but you when I see it. You did that on purpose, didn't you, little fucker." He pinched the corners of his eyes. His right hand slowly rotated the ring on his left hand, then reached up to finger the one on a chain beneath his shirt. "Shit. I miss you, Sunshine. I miss you so fucking much it hurts."
He stood staring down at the grave at his feet. "I can't believe what you've turned me into. A lonely, lesbianic faggot who's madly in love with a dead guy and who can't get over that he spent seven years of his life in such a crazy, fucked up, amazing relationship. But you know what, Sunshine? It was fucking worth it."