CHAPTER TITLE: Because He’s Right, I Can Do This._Nineteen of One Hundred
RATING: this chapter: PG
WORD COUNT: this chapter: 1,025
WARNINGS: this chapter: none, Justin 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: ‘That’s why we’ve asked to meet with you, because we want you to be involved.’
Justin begins to realize the transcendent possibilities of art
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
Because He’s Right, I Can Do This.
Next Day - Pittsburgh
I was surprised, very surprised when, on our way from the airport, Brian announced that we were stopping by the Gay & Lesbian Center before going to the loft. Might as well have said we were stopping by the soda fountain for a banana split before going to the loft for how much sense he made. “No way,” and grabbing for his cock, I rubbed meaningfully along its length, the jeans feeling soft and worn on my palm, but when he actually brushed my hand away, smirking that I shouldn’t bother my little head about a thing, I knew he really meant it. He told me to just relax and since I did still feel a little buzzy from the flight, I chose not to question him any further, well, except I did ask about Babylon‘s reopening, which apparently ‘went fine’ and then since he went quiet, so did I. I’d tell him about last night with Sam Arbauch, and my first ‘real’ New York art opening later because obviously conversation was not on our agenda.
I dozed a little, the purr-vroom of the Vette’s engine calming me as we drove to my once was world that was now my very favorite vacation destination. Soon enough the engine stopped and I was vaguely surprised to realize we really were actually at the center. I’d decided somewhere along the highway that he was just messing with me. Apparently, I could be wrong.
Tannis and Phillip were there, with several people I didn’t recognize and I suddenly felt nervous. They were seated around a small table, obviously waiting. Tannis almost shyly glanced to Brian; she asked him if he’d mentioned anything. He shook his head, then took a seat in the big brown leather chair away from them. I stayed where I was not sure what to do. I glanced at him and he nodded toward them, so I took the empty seat at the table and I waited…apprehensively. Tannis introduced me to the others, to Paul Jenichens, Barbara Hirioki and Taylor Novak.
She explained, “We’re part of a committee, Justin, that has been set-up to oversee a project we’ve decided to undertake here at the center. This project is our way of helping, or at least trying to help, with the healing process that our community continues to go through, will continue to go through for some time. We want to make a statement; we want to make sure that those who died in the bombing are not forgotten, we want to make sure that people understand that we will continue to fight for our rights no matter what. That’s why we’ve asked to meet with you because we want you to be involved.” Everyone nodded their agreement. I nodded mine wondering how.
They then took turns explaining about the seven portraits, about the community donations, including national ones from organizations like the HRC, PFLAG, and GLAAD, donations which had, apparently, already exceeded their expectations and about how three artists had been selected to do the paintings. The other two had already accepted their commissions and now they wanted to know if I’d accept mine.
“What do you think?” Mr. Novak asked. “Do you think you’d like to be a part of something of this kind?”
Did I think I’d like to part of this? Yes, yes I did. I had this nearly uncontrollable urge to jump out of my chair and run around the table shouting yesyesyes!!! But…I didn‘t.
“What are your thoughts, Justin?” Phillip pushed.
I wanted to tell him I don’t give a shit about money or…or anything but, instead, I said, “Yes, I want to be a part of this, but I‘m not--”
“Justin,” Brian said, from behind me, even and low.
So I stopped, I took a deep breath, “I’m honored. I will do my best, my very best.” Because he was right, I could do this, I could.
They told me they wanted me to have Dusty since Marie had actually requested me. That should be enough, more than enough, but I also asked for Jeremy. I told them I knew him, so I asked if I could have him too. I didn’t want to believe it when I’d seen his photograph in the paper during that first horrible week after the bombing. I hadn’t said anything to Brian because he’d been in total denial mode but when I’d been here last week for my mom‘s birthday, I saw another newspaper opened to their photographs lying on his desk at the loft. I’d said something then about how we’d known Jeremy, about how we’d brought him back to the loft with us, but he’d just shrugged, had given me his little non-smile smile and I knew, he remembered too.
I asked these people for Jeremy because I wanted someone to do his portrait who remembered him. Jeremy wanted to be draw, he was from Georgia and he got home-sick sometimes, he was a pretty boy with a sweet mouth and a sweeter cock. They gave him to me.
It was only later that night last week, after Brian was asleep that, in looking at the newspaper again that I’d realized that the paper was nearly two months old, that he’d been holding on to it…or to them, his way of remembering them? I didn’t know, I didn‘t. What I did know was that when I’d found it; it had been among some papers on his desk and that had been exactly where I’d put it back. Wonder if it was still there? It had only been a week. I’d check first thing when we got home.
The Brian Kinney Operating Manual - A Life Examined
the chapter titled - ‘Brian and His Coping Methods: Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t’
The paper is gone when Justin checks for it again. Brian does still have it, in a box in his closet safely hidden where no one including, or maybe especially, Justin will see it again for a very long time.
Next Chapter: Lindsay reflects on Brian’s impending visit & the meaning of home
for original post & additional chapters, please see here