CHAPTER TITLE: Just Like Tonight_Fourteen of One Hundred
RATING: this chapter: PG13
WORD COUNT: this chapter: 850
WARNINGS: this chapter: Brian implied other, Mark POV
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: ‘Justin had shown him that it was alright, once in a while, to accept, to even seek, help, and maybe he’d realized that this was one of those times.’
Brian continues coping but this time with a little help from a friend
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
Just Like Tonight
One Week Later - Pittsburgh
Brian has nightmares two…three…sometimes even four times a week. Babylon blows to pieces over and over and over again in his dreams. Dreams just like the one tonight.
Mark shook him, tried to wake him. “Brian, shit man c’mon, Brian wake up. “ He’d been through this before, a few times, and each time still scared him as much as the first.
“What…whatthe…” Brian awoke suddenly, curling into himself…into Mark. He trembled. “Not again…fuck, not again.”
“I’m here. I’m here, okay?” he soothed. He knew what to do, to just hold him until he stopped shaking, until his breathing calmed. Then, like he had before, Mark asked, “Please tell me.” But where before he’d always been told, ‘no, I can’t, just touch me.’ tonight was different.
Instead tonight Brian whispered, “I should’ve…been there, I…I should’ve known…done--”
“Brian, no…no, nothing would have been any different if you’d been there, you couldn’t have changed what happened. I was there, you know that, and I’m telling you…understand, you couldn‘t have changed a thing. Please, Brian, don‘t do this to yourself, don’t beat yourself up over--”
“Maybe I could’ve…done something… …anything. Maybe I…I don‘t know, I…I just…left them there to…to…Christ.” Brian curled deeper into himself, he went quiet.
Mark thought he understood Brian’s confusion, his feelings of helplessness at not being able to make everything alright. He’d been the same way the night Babylon had come crashing down on him…on everyone. There had been so much blood and screaming, all so sudden and total chaos, like monsters in the dark that he hadn’t known what to do, where to turn, who to help first. He clearly remembered everything, knew he would never forget anything,. In the weeks that had followed he’d been so jittery that he’d finally gone to see a psychologist and the man had helped him. He’d even mentioned the guy once, but the glare Brian had shot him let him know, in no uncertain terms, that professional help was not an option, that helping was his job, Brian’s reason for letting him stay. So he coaxed him more, tried again. “Tell me, Brian please, talk to me or…or…maybe…maybe, just this once, you should call Justin, tell him--”
“No, he’s got enough going on, he doesn’t need my shit and anyway, isn’t that why you’re--?”
“Alright, alright, sorry. But what am I supposed to do if you won’t let me in? There has to be some other reason for my being here other than as some fuck-toy distraction--”
“Mark, you know--”
“I’m serious, Brian. If that’s all this is, then really, what’s the point?”
“That’s not it--”
“So prove it, let me in, let me see what I can do to help. You’ve got to get this shit out of your head, please. You’re making yourself crazy, you‘re not eating, you‘re not sleeping--”
“I know what the fuck I’m not doing.” Brian moved away then, tensing, he covered his face with his hands.
Sighing, Mark tried again, tried coaxing him one last time, urging him, he whispered, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have lectured you, I‘m sorry. It’s just, I’m so frustrated. I hate seeing you like this. I mean, Brian, I hear people talking at work and they’re worried. Everyone’s worried and I’m supposed to be the one helping you but you won’t let me. I don’t know…just talk to me, please. Trust me.”
And so, Brian did confide to him…just a little. Mark thought he was prepared but he wasn’t. It freaked him when he realized that this was just the beginning, just the start of Brian‘s pain spilling out all over him. It scared him to the point that, after that night, he stayed away for over a week; excuses being given that he knew Brian wouldn’t believe but eventually he went back because, well…because Brian needed him.
He used the time to get himself ready, reliving the time spent with his doctor, reminding himself what had worked and what hadn‘t. He even kept the guy’s business card in his wallet, just in case. He read articles on trauma wanting to know if and when Brian had crossed some line where he would need more help than a friend could provide, whether he wanted that help or not. Mark clearly realized he was in over his head, so he wanted to make sure he noticed if and when they were both about to go over into the dark abyss of Brian’s nightmares, with him just dancing to the sometimes harsh, sometimes sweet rhythm of Brian’s song.
Time would tell.
The Brian Kinney Operating Manual - A Life Examined
the chapter titled - ‘Brian and His Coping Methods - Sometimes They Work, Sometimes They Don’t’
The bottom line is that Brian not only feels that he abandoned everyone to die in the inferno that was his club being bombed, but that he is somehow actually responsible, for the bombing, for the bashing and for somehow making his pop hate him and his mom neglect him, for the school bullies who picked on Michael when he wasn’t able to protect him and on and on and on. The bombing itself is bad enough, but it’s more like the straw that broke the camel’s back, the striking match, the catalysis that dredges up many, if not most, of Brian’s long and deeply buried traumas.
So maybe he’s finally realized that he can’t do this all on his own. He’d learned from the cancer that once in a while, it’s alright to need help, that it’s alright, from time to time, to find that help, a time like now. Because, truth is, he‘s starting to have trouble living his life and that can’t be allowed to continue. Two or three times a week, for the past couple of months, all the people Brian cares about, all the people he loves, are blown to pieces in his nightmares. And now those visions are starting to walk in the light of his days. Babylon is destroyed, everyone is destroyed, and reliving that, night after night and, more and more, day after day, is starting to destroy him as well.
Next Chapter: The Editors do their very best to briefly explore the nature -- the who not the why -- of Brian’s New Kind of Tricks
for original post & additional chapters, please see here