CHAPTER TITLE: j - love you brat - b_Ten of One Hundred
RATING: this chapter: PG
WORD COUNT: this chapter: 1,320
WARNINGS: this chapter: None, Justin POV
NON-CANON: Britin is in the countryside outside of Pittsburgh, not in West Virginia
DISCLAIMER: Nothing I can say that hasn’t been said already? Not mine.
Originally Beta’ed by herefordroad, all subsequent mistakes are mine
Story throughout contains excerpts from The Brian Kinney Operating Manual including commentary from the Editors
SUMMARY FROM THE EDITORS: ‘The stuff that he was telling me hurt, cut too close, made me bleed or made me feel him bleeding.’
Justin reflects on Brian‘s coping methods & just how really damaged they are
AUTHOR‘S NOTES: This story projects 59 years into the future and reflects all that that entails, many of the loose ends are tied-up. I dance with POV, I dance with time, in essence, I just dance to the song Brian & Justin sang to me.
Contains: Brian_others, Justin_others. They grow old, they are always together for just as long as time allows, but, ultimately, they will die.
As someone wise once said, ‘In the end, it’s all about Brian and Justin’ and I can only agree
A Time From Now
j - love you brat - b
One Week Later - New York
I woke-up groggy, another late night well spent painting but the smell of coffee beckoned, I couldn’t resist. I found Alex conveniently located in the kitchen with a mug of Sumatra just for me and I knew I would survive. I nodded my thanks and he just shook his head. I needed a roommate, there was no way I could live in this city without one and Alex would do nicely. I’d sent my thanks, through the ether, to Daphne every day of the four weeks I‘d been here. He provided just the right amount of interaction, enough to maintain a becoming-familiar pattern without things getting complicated. He didn’t give a shit that I was gay and he didn’t seem to give a shit about how a part of his living room was being taken over, very temporarily, as a studio. We were simpatico.
Once I had my coffee, I checked my email, my routine every morning and mostly I found short, sweet messages from mom or Daphne, Emmett or Ted and even Debbie now that Carl finally had her on a computer. He’d used me as the incentive, told her she would be able email me very day so, of course, she did. All these little missives arrived about their lives without me…big sigh. I replied in kind, telling them what I was doing. I also found drawings from Gus who, I’ve been told, wanted to be an artist just like Daddy Justin…bigger sigh. I replied to him with little drawings of my own and, sometimes, with drawings from artists I thought he might like. Melanie sent photos of their life in Toronto and I sent her photos of my life here. These threads connecting me to them arrived daily but not from him. And they remained quiet on the subject. Even when I asked direct and very concise questions, they were evasive. And why was that? Hard to say. Oh, and I also got Rage stuff from Michael, mostly all work and no play with that guy but that was okay because I was sometimes able to get little glimpses of Brian from him. He told me Brian was being all weird, like he wasn’t behaving according to Michael‘s expectations and somehow that was all my fault. Don’t Really Care.
I booted-up my computer; the very one Brian had gotten for me something like three to four years ago now. When I’d left Pittsburgh, I’d left it behind, thought the laptop-Rage-bought would be enough, but two days ago it arrived, the address written in Brian’s distinctive upper-case scrawl. The note inside said, ‘You forgot this and it‘s taking up my valuable work space’. No…how the fuck you been? No…fucked your roommate yet? Nothing. Just Brian knowing that I needed the more powerful computer to work at my best. The system I’d come-up with, first creating each painting on the computer and only then starting to paint was working out great because using the computer to initially generate the images, which were my foundation, gave my hand a break and the technique allowed me a kind of controlled chaos, which I loved.
Sometimes though, on rare mornings like this, I found from him not short sweet missives like from everyone else but long, sometimes almost incoherent purges. I considered them philosophical in nature even if Brian wouldn’t have and really, the shit that went on in that man’s head. Damn. It was better I hadn’t really known most of this shit early on, could have easily scared me away. Not now.
The first purge-email arrived the second day I was here and he called almost as soon as I’d opened it. I remember wondering how he’d known. I’d barely had a chance to read it once, shit about him and Michael and dancing on graves and Babylon and whatthefuck? I’d had no time to try and understand it, which was just as well. He sounded all nonchalant on the phone. Just calling, he said. ‘Uhhh…huh’ I said. And as we went along talking, saying nothing really, it dawned on me that he was worried, I could hear it in his voice. Brian Kinney was worried. I could almost see the clouds parting, could almost hear the angels singing as I understood my place in his little psycho-drama, have I not read the Brian Kinney Operating Manual several times? Yes. Yes I have.
I was to play ignorant. An email, you say? No no, I did not receive any email from you and this, and any subsequent emails of this type…should there ever be another…are Never ToBe Mentioned…EVER. I so understood. I was gone, I was elsewhere, as in not around and, therefore, I was safe or, at least, safer. I could now be allowed glimpses into Brian Kinney’s soul or into that part of him, anyway, that all the bullshit shielded, that he protected with such a guard-dog intensity that it bordered on, well, I’ll just say it…the neurotic. He’d give that to me, but only if I never used it against him, only if I never told another living being about any of it and, most especially, only if I was in another state. Another country would probably have been better, but New York was as far as I was taking it.
So far, I was handling it. I bullshitted, he bullshitted and, since that had worked so well for us in the past, the emails just kept coming. There had been four more since that first one and each after only what I could assume to have been particularly hard nights at Woody’s or who-knows-where, because to assume Brian was anything but completely wasted while crafting these little missives really would be ignorant. I could almost see him, beam in hand, half-empty bottle close by, cigarette lit…purging. One email, though, had been very mellow, it must have been a weed-kind-of-night, and I’d liked that one better.
They were all stream-of-consciousness, generally requiring several readings and, after serious consideration, which almost always gave me a dull headache, I still didn’t get all of it, but sometimes I did. The stuff that he was telling me hurt, cut too close, made me bleed or made me feel him bleeding. And I wanted to scream at him, please, just say what the fuck you mean, but I couldn‘t because I was ignorant. I’ve kept them backed-up on a flash-stick because I could just see him casually scrolling through my saved email one day, while I was conveniently out of the room pissing or something, and finding them. Yeah, don’t think so.
I’d vaguely voiced a concern once…I may have, via the phone. I wanted to be able to gauge his reaction, which was instantaneous and not good. His normal two to three word sentences became grunts so…never again. He’d scared me, but he didn’t want to know that. The point. I won’t tell him to stop, not an option because despite all of the possible negative personal ramifications -- sleep loss, uncontrollable paranoia, a nervous breakdown, etc -- this was important. He was opening up to me. And maybe I could help him. I remained, if nothing else, ever optimistic. And anyway, I’d figured out how to use it, all this email angst, in my art because I had to since that was kind of my way, what I’d done after the bashing, what I done after the bombing.
So, as I saw it, the progression would be from Briana’s fucked-up psyche to my dazzling canvases to the gracious living rooms and the boardrooms of elite art collectors all across this great land of ours, of, quite possibly, the world. Scary thought and fairly ego, imagining my work in the living rooms of strangers or in the lobbies of dot.com start-ups, still, I would make this work, could almost imagine how, in a few short years, I would be a star, in New York anyway, if not in Hollywood, which I had to believe in my heart of heart was Hollywood’s loss.
Otherwise, he emailed me to-do lists. Check-out these clubs, this one and that. What was up with that?
Actually, there was a third kind of email and he saved every one. Each simply said ‘j - love you brat - b‘
And, as can be imagined, he saved every one.
Next Chapter: Brian reflects on his coping methods and how damaged they really are
for original post & additional chapters, please see here