CHAPTER TITLE: A Cliff of My Own Making_Sixty-Eight of One Hundred
RATING: this chapter:
WORD COUNT: this chapter: 1,895
WARNINGS: this chapter: none_Jayden 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: ‘Now it was his turn and despite his promise to Brian only four months ago because for his own sanity, he needed to find someone who’d love him the way Brian loved Justin. ’
Jayden sees the writing on the wall
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
A Cliff of My Own Making
Two Months Later - Pittsburgh
Opening the door for him, the doorman, Leonard, then hurriedly hailed him a cab undoubtedly thinking he found the late fall evening breeze too cool when in fact, he found the breeze refreshing. He‘d been in the office all day finalizing last minute details, making sure everything was properly taken care of before he left That coupled with the going away party the office staff, and other architects, had thrown for him, which had been sentimental and memorable, both left him longing for unprocessed out of doors air and had taken longer than he’d planned. He’d procrastinated in leaving, he had dreaded saying goodbye, but finally the time had come. Brian was waiting for him and he was already late. As Leonard held the cab door for him, Jayden turned to look one last time at the only building he’d ever worked in and he felt momentarily confused, almost as if lost, realizing he no longer did.
“It’s been a pleasure, Mr. Harker,” Leonard said.
“It has been, Leonard,” he said, slipping into the backseat of the cab, pleased. “I will definitely miss our talks. Take care of yourself.” With the cab door shut securely behind him, as the high-rise disappeared from view, he settled in for the ride over to Brian’s apartment, losing himself to the blurs of cool blues and grays of the buildings and storefronts punctuated by the warm yellow glow of their brightly lit windows. His thoughts drifted to what now seemed like ancient history, remembering when he’d first witness the intricacies of pushing someone of a cliff and into the abyss.
Because he’d been at Babylon that night, the night of the Rage Party and he’d watched, just as silently as everyone else, when Brian had pushed Justin off a cliff of his own making. He’d witnessed the entire travesty. He’d watched when Brian had asked Lindsay and Melanie to fetch Justin for him. Even remembered thinking what a lucky little fuck ‘the kid’ was. How was he, or any of them, supposed to have known that Brian was just setting ’the lucky little fuck’ up?
Unknowingly, Lindsay and Melanie had done Brian’s dirty deed. Off they’d gone and mere moments later, Justin had shown up, all puppy-dog happy only to find Brian fucking Rage. To have actually seen the look on the kid’s face was to die a little inside, but as with any accident, he’d watched both fascinated and horrified as Justin skidded head first over the cliff and into the abyss of Brian’s making. He hadn’t known then, still didn’t know why or how they’d gotten to such a place in their relationship, but what he did know was that everything seemed ultimately to have worked itself out just fine.
And it wasn’t like he hadn’t heard about the off-the-cliff business before, about how Brian had this scary tendency to force those he especially loved off into the dark abyss of whatever lay beyond, and always for their own good, but he’d never actually seen him commit the crime. Gratefully, he hadn’t been in attendance at the infamous Mikey’s Thirtieth Birthday Party, still, hearing about something was quite different from witnessing it
And now he was doing the same, he was pushing Brian as gently as he could off a cliff of his own making, so he’d finally be able to break free of him. His only real concern was making sure he wouldn‘t simply follow Brian over. Even if his abyss was a kinder, gentler place than Brian’s had been for Justin, he still didn‘t want to go down with him.
Was that how it had always been for Brian? Did he always follow them down into the darkness in some way? Since he’d totally outted his best friend at his own birthday party and since he’d, in essence, fucked himself in front of his partner at a celebration for most excellent achievement of that best friend and that partner’s, wasn’t at least some of the fallout, just a little of the flack, bound to hit him? In some way, didn’t he have to have gone over into the abyss with them? To have watched Brian while Justin was with Ethan was to fairly accurately answer the question.
And now it was his turn and despite his promise to Brian made only four months ago because for his own sanity, he needed to find someone who’d love him the way Brian loved Justin. Plus, he realized he was making Brian just a little complacent. Once he was gone, Brian would put his focus squarely back where it belonged. Once he was gone, Brian would move more quickly to accept the offer of a merger of Kinnetik with Thompson&Thompson and once he’d accepted that deal, he would be just that much closer to New York, to where he was supposed to be.
But instead, for the past three months, he’d just been sitting on it, and Brian had to make his move while the very sweet offer was still on the table. He’d maintain control, everyone and everything would remain in place with just the added benefits of a large agency standing behind them. If the deal went through, Kinnetik would be the third acquisition for Thompson&Thompson in just the past two years. And their track record was impressive. They’d done the research together, he and Brian, and the deal was excellent. It would give Brian the freedom he’d need to move on, to make his life with Justin. So why hadn’t he accepted?
Ted and Cynthia had, apparently, been steadily working their magic on him, Ted especially. It would seem that the idea of being a partner with Brian in four, maybe even five Babylons, fit in beautifully with how he envisioned his future and Kinnetik’s acquisition would help make that future become real. Because with the money Brian could make, he’d be able to finance not only club number three, New York, but possibly even number four, Chicago. And then it’d be on to the west coast and number five, San Francisco, with nothing standing in their way.
Incredible. Five clubs from coast to coast. Optimistic? Maybe because, after all, only the magnificently rebuilt Babylon@PITTSBURGH was in actual operation. Smart though of Brian to have hired probably the only architect in all of Pittsburgh with an intimate working knowledge of the place to do its rebuild. They’d done good work together. The club would show well in his portfolio and so would club number two, Boston.
Boston was next, which would probably need only another year to work out some location problems, but which was otherwise nearly ready to go. Between the sale of the loft and the sale of the house combined with personal money, Brian would have enough to finance the loan for Boston, the one they’d designed together from the ground up.
But he wouldn’t be there when it opened or in New York or Chicago or San Francisco because, while he had worked closely with Ted on the expansion and remodel of Babylon@PITTSBURGH, he was otherwise unknown by any of Brian’s friends or family or colleagues. As far as any of them were concerned, he was barely a blip on their radar screen, just another one of Brian‘s long-time tricks. He barely existed. And he wanted to exist for someone, wanted to be real for someone and that someone would never be Brian, so he’d unwillingly reached the conclusion that he had to move on. The most difficult decision of his life so far.
Jayden was roused from his thoughts as the cab finally reached its destination, pulling up to the curb. After paying, he stood for a few minutes looking up at the windows he knew belonged to Brian’s apartment. Tonight everything would change. Tonight he would tell Brian about his transfer that wasn’t really a transfer, but a request, a request Brian would never know about. He’d asked to be transferred to Seattle and his employer, AdamsHenry&Jones, had found not only the perfect position for him in their residential design department, but one that came with the coveted promotion to junior partner.
And while all of that was promising, none of it truly mattered because tonight he would tell the only man he’d probably ever love that he was leaving. Brian would be upset. He was being totally blindsided as was customary in the pushing-off-the-cliff business. Plus, Brian had always been the one to make the decision when a trick would leave; never the trick himself. Until now. Brian might even make some effort to stay in contact, he’d come to rely to some degree on his input, but he already knew that if Brian did, he wouldn’t allow it to continue for very long. Imperceptibly, he’d make sure that they lost contact because he also already knew that no other way would work. He had to break completely free. Sure, he would undoubtedly buy more of Justin’s paintings. He’d celebrate each opening, but only from a distance.
“Good evening, Mr. Harker,” Samuel, the doorman, said when Jayden finally walked through the door held opened for him
“Good evening, Samuel,” he said, nodding and heading for the elevators, once inside, he watched as the doors closed in front of him, felt it as the whirling of gears and cable pulled him upward toward Brian, beautiful Brian who believed he was just coming for dinner. Soon enough he’d find out that he was actually coming to say good bye.
The Brian Kinney Operating Manual - A Life Examined
the chapter titled ‘Brian Finds His Way’
In two more months Kinnetik becomes the acquired half of an acquisition that could not have been sweeter. Brian is even ‘just fine’ with the name change. No longer simply Kinnetik, his company is now Kinnetik&Thompson, Inc. When informed, Justin’s only question is, “Isn’t that the company where you sent Mark?” Brian admits that it is, but that he’s been dealing with their headquarters in Chicago, so no worries.” “Ahhh,” Justin says sounding strangely relieved and Brian is oddly pleased to ease his mind.
On the other side of the country, Jayden sees his plan through, although it does take him a little longer to disconnect from Brian than he had planned, first because of the Michael-store-renovation-thing and then because of the building-a-brand-new-club-in-Boston-thin
Brian is extremely busy, what with being acquired and all, plus just a few short months after Jayden leaves and almost exactly two & ½ years after Justin did, Brian begins work on Babylon@BOSTON, a huge and time-consuming year-long operation, which Brian initially uses to contact Jayden nearly every day. But as time goes by, as his confidence grows, his communications dwindle. Jayden realizes it’s only distraction on Brian’s part not disinterest, but he uses the situation to his advantage.
Meanwhile, back in New York, Justin’s only question to Brian about Boston is, “Why there first?” with his obvious implication being ‘why the fuck not New York, asshole?’ Brian patiently explains the intricacies of the financing involved, Boston cheaper - New York more expensive, assuring Justin, that “the next club will bring me to you.”
And unlike with Boston, when Brian opens his club in New York, he will also move there, forever leaving Pittsburgh behind.
Next Chapter: Michael become a great big fucking success
for original post & additional chapters, please see here