CHAPTER TITLE: That Annoying Little Tapping At My Door _Fifty-Four of One Hundred
WORD COUNT: 1,375
WARNINGS: none_Brian 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: ‘And their drunkenness was wearing off; what had once been their really great idea was deteriorating into something with no easy way out.’
Brian realizes that Justin is complicated, life is complicated and things sometimes need to be tended to
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
That Annoying Little Tapping At My Door
Later That Night - New York
He’d tried, but obviously without much success, to ignore the incessant tapping on his hotel room door. Tap, tap, tap then quiet with the pattern repeated. Eventually, it’d become annoying, something that would have to be dealt with. He’d considered calling security, but had decided not to already having a fairly good idea who the annoyance was. Wrapping himself in the soft terrycloth hotel robe, grumbling, “Hold on, alright? I’m coming…shit,” he walked across the room, swearing vengeance with every step. But after yanking the door open, while surveying the pathetic little troop in front of him, something snapped, but inwardly, not outwardly. There would be no vengeance, not even so much as any harsh words. He was suddenly numb and mystified. Why were they even here? What had compelled him to answer the tapping? It hadn‘t really been that annoying? He should’ve just let security handle it…him…them. Whotthefuckever? And even knowing it would be Justin, he was still unprepared. So he leaned against the doorjamb and waited for this little nighttime soap opera to play itself out, realizing that someone was going to get hurt and he‘d like for it not to be him.
“Oh thank god,” Justin said. “If we’d knocked on any more wrong doors, I am pretty sure someone would’ve gotten us kicked outta--”
“Never too late,” Brian said, but actually it was too late and it was also as if someone with a very sick sense of humor had dumped a drunk litter of puppies at his door as the one in the back stumbled into the two in front of him who then stumbled into Justin causing them all to more or less stumble into his room, his sanctuary. He reluctantly closed the door behind them.
During the intervening time, however long that had been, between the club scene and this scene, he’d decided that he may have overreacted…somewhat, but he’d also decided to wait this one out, to see what Justin would do. He’d expected him, but the three amigos? That was a surprise. “How’d you find me?” Just making conversation.
“You’re a man of habit, you are and I remembered which floor from the last time, you remember last time, don’t you, Bri…an? But I just could not remember which room so I figured I’d just keep knock-knocking and y’know…eventually.” Justin said. “And you know what, Brian? Do you? I think, I really do think that you forgot something very im…por…tant. In fact, I‘m pretty sure you did.”
“No…don’t think so,” he said, focusing on the three friends, realizing that they were taking this much more seriously than Justin was; all the hurt was right there, he could see it even if Justin couldn’t or more likely just didn’t want to. When he refocused back to Justin weaving through his personal space, he added, “What do you think I could possibly have forgotten?”
Justin moved then, like silk up into him, all warm breath and firm muscles, wrapped himself up into his arms and whispered, “Me, Brian. You forgot me. And do you know what? Everyone insisted…insisted on coming here with me so things could be explained ‘cause Brian, it’s really not like what you think, honest.”
Brian moved him back, away a little, said, “I’ll just bet,” addressing more the friends than Justin, more the issue of whether or not they had wanted to come than any issue involving any confusion. Justin’s boy’s eyes were glassy, he was concerned the kid might cry but he hadn‘t, not yet. He was being strong, was holding it together. For Justin.
“It’s not Brian,” the kid said, “it’s not what you think, or at least it’s not what Justin thinks you think. We’re just…fuck-buddies.” Justin stiffened, his eyes narrowed, he almost looked angry. Unaware, the kid said, “Not anything more important than that, just friends, y’know? He…he told me about you right from the beginning, totally upfront. I’m not a problem for you, like I…I ever even could be.” He stopped then, swallowing hard, Brian watched his eyes dart around the room. The kid calmed noticeably when one of his friends laid his hand on his shoulder. He stood quiet, his eyes to the floor. Brian glanced between the two friends, saw anger in one and regret in the other.
Justin turned toward them…toward him. “Jamey?” he said. Finally realizing? Maybe.
“Don’t worry about it,” Jamey said, not taking his eyes from the floor. “It’s nothing for you to worry about, Justin.” But when Justin stepped toward him, he stepped back. “Just…don’t worry about it, ‘kay?” And in his upward glance to Justin, Brian saw him plead with him to just ‘leave it alone’. And he did, Justin stepped away.
He couldn’t imagine that Justin was only just now understanding that he was loved, but maybe he was. With not much to go on, having had only two actual lovers, Ethan and him, and neither the best example of how this game was supposedly played, maybe he really had been fooled, or in the very least had allowed himself to be. Either way, the situation sucked. And their drunkenness was wearing off; what had once been their really great idea was deteriorating quickly into something a little mean, a little ugly and with no easy way out.
Jamey looked up again, at him this time and said, “We’ll just go ‘cause everything’s okay, right? I mean, you’re not pissed any--”
“I was never pissed.”
“Oh…kay then, you’re not…whatever anymore, right?” Pausing, he looked a little confused, but he obviously needed this to be finished. “So we can go, right? Right…Brian?”
“No, not right” Brian said. And Justin turned back to him angry, clearly misreading his motives, which was typical and fine. He’d realized he had overreacted because he’d taken his readings off of Jamey not off of Justin and honestly, they had looked so good together that confusion was inevitable. “I have a better idea. The hotel has an open-all-night restaurant. Some coffee, some…clearing of the air…game?” And then Justin smiled. It took awhile to convince the three, but eventually Justin was able to. So, with immediate needs mostly met and with internal conflicts maybe-possibly-going to be resolved, they agreed to his suggestion. All things considered, not too bad for 3:30am.
The Brian Kinney Operating Manual - A Life Examined
the chapter titled ‘Brian Plus Others - As to Their Outcome’
It might seem strange to those who don’t understand such things, but life is even better for Justin and Jamey after the night of the 2nd ‘big talk’. It takes a while, but eventually Jamey doesn’t just seem to understand, he really does. Brian is real and will remain that way and Justin loves him. He understands that he and Justin really are friends with benefits and that the truly important part is their friendship.
He’s able to focus beyond Justin, which is something he hadn’t been willing to do in the six months since they’d met. He allows himself other relationships and when, two years later, he meets Toby, his someone-who-really-matters, his forever, Justin is proud of him. What jealously he feels, Justin keeps to himself. Jamey, wisely, doesn’t tell Toby everything --most everything, yes…every everything, no -- about his and Justin’s friendship, so Toby’s good with him, accepting him just like he does Tristan and Mychael and eventually even Brian. Justin and Jamey still ‘get together’ once in a while, but as quite a long time goes by, the benefits part of their relationship just naturally and mostly fades away.
And ten years later, when the double weddings of Jamey with Toby and Tristan with Mychael take place, Justin stands as Jamey’s best man with everyone looking beautiful in their Armani tuxes, Brian‘s way-over-the-top wedding gift to the happy couples. Brian dances with all the moms, talks business with all the dads, and in general endears himself to everyone in attendance. And he will be remembered as the beautiful dancer, as the savvy, self-made businessman, as the charming, flirtatious guest. How he will be remembered may vary depending on who’s telling the story, but one thing is certain he’ll always be there when the story is told.
And against all the odds, against all expectations, these six men will remain friends for as long as time allows them and that really is the most important story of all.
Next Chapter: Lindsay has her ideas, Melanie has her own and then there’s Preston and Andrew
for original post & additional chapters, please see here