A Star is (Almost) Born

Suz


Disclaimer - CowLip/Showtime own them, I don't, pout pout.

Rated R for language and sexual situations. This was written for prompt .033 of au100, Too Much.

Everything up to the end of season four happened, so possible spoilers. Season five didn't. Future fic.

Feedback would be faaaaabulous.



***

When Brian got home, Justin greeted him with a blowjob. The event wasn't all that unusual and neither was the smug grin on Justin's face afterwards; the nervous, almost pleading expression a few seconds later was.

Brian groaned mentally. There was no way in hell he was going to like this. "What do you want?"

Pulling himself up from where he'd been sprawled across Brian's legs, Justin shifted to the side to sit comfortably on the bed. He had fake innocence down perfectly. "What do you mean, what do I-?"

"*Justin*,"

"How do you feel about doing a comic convention?" he blurted out, because when Justin decided on a course of action the word 'tact' might as well not exist.

Snorting at the idea, Brian struggled to his feet - ignoring the fact that his legs still felt like jelly, damn twink - and picked up his discarded pants. "I've been to enough of those things for *four* fucking lifetimes." He'd gone to several with Mikey during their formative years, and last year Justin had even convinced him to come along to one where there was a Rage panel, although Brian had actually spent the weekend at everywhere *but* the convention, and they'd ended up having some pretty spectacular hotel sex.

Hmm...maybe this wasn't such a bad idea.

"I don't mean as moral support," Justin continued as Brian hung up his pants, "I've been asked to do another convention, and...well, they want you to go, too. As a guest. To be on the panel," he added, as if Brian hadn't clued in by now.

Brian turned around, disbelieving, pants swinging back and forth on the hanger in the closet. "Why the fuck would they want me?"

"You're the inspiration for *everything*," Justin told him, clambering over to Brian's side of the bed and standing up. "Without you there wouldn't even be a Rage."

"Bullshit," Brian argued, because it was. "I seem to remember you and Mikey coming up with the idea to make the comic all by yourselves." He smirked. "True, you couldn't proceed until you decided to base Rage on my physical perfection..."

Shooting forward, Justin grabbed his sides, tickling. "Asshole!"

"Fucking stop that," Brian ordered as he grabbed for Justin's hands, and he was *not* laughing because tickling was fucking irritating.

"Come on," Justin argued, arms wrapped around Brian now as he looked up. "Everyone knows we based the character on you - I've said it in enough interviews. They wanna meet you, the 'real' Rage." He lowered his eyelashes, flirting. "Just think of all the guys that'll be there, drooling all over you..."

"Guys do that already," Brian said, reaching up to tug on Justin's right ear. "And generally they're not geeks who couldn't get laid if they paid for it."

"You get paid for it!" Justin quickly declared, obviously inspired.

"Like I need the money," Brian pointed out, and he doubted it'd be a big pay-out anyway.

"I'll suck you off?" Justin tried. "Let you fuck me? Fuck the shit out of you?"

"Remind me again what's in it for me?"

Justin smacked his thigh, before his expression turned deliberately thoughtful. "You couldn't be...no, that's not it."

Oh yeah, Brian *really* wasn't gonna like this. He sighed. "What?"

"Well," Justin was obviously pretending to think about something, "you're not...scared, are you? Worried that you won't live up to other people's expectations? That you won't be good enou-"

Jesus, the kid should know better. He was acting like an amateur. "You really think reverse psychology is going to work on me?"

Grinning brightly, Justin shook his head. "I'll tell everyone on Liberty Avenue about the bottle of hair dye I found hidden in the bathroom."

Brian's eyes widened. "You little *shit*!"

***

Rage had been a success. It hadn't broken box office records or won any Academy Awards, but it'd made a healthy profit and certainly made an impact on the gay movie industry. Justin and Michael had been interviewed dozens of times, mostly for gay publications or movie magazines and Brian had even been contacted a few times - especially after he turned up at the premiere.

He'd always turned them down. He had no interest in talking about himself.

Yet somehow, here he was, about to appear at a comic convention as a *guest*. Jesus Christ.

The two of them had been picked up at the airport by the still worryingly enthusiastic Kathy-Anne Something Something. She'd been Justin's 'assistant' at the last convention he'd attended, and was apparently serving the same function now.

Still, it was easy enough tuning out her rattling on about the recent updates in her life, and Brian ended up making out with Justin all the way to the hotel.

Inside the hotel they were quickly escorted up to their room, and Brian couldn't help but notice the guy in a dark suit who'd joined them in the lobby.

"And who the fuck are you?" Brian asked, after scanning the room and and deciding that it wasn't that bad (actually, it was pretty damn nice. They must have decided to change hotels after the last one).

"Security, Mr Kinney," the man replied blankly.

"Oh, that's just Chad," Kathy-Anne said as she bustled in from somewhere. "Unfortunately, sometimes security's necessary at an event like this. That said, we usually don't have security for individuals because of the sheer number of guests, unless they're particularly famous or it's their first time-"

"I do not need a fucking security guard," Brian insisted. The idea that he couldn't look after himself was laughable, and not a little insulting.

"Oooooh-kay," Kathy-Anne said perkily, "well in that case, may I make one small suggestion?" She didn't wait for his permission. "Try and cut down on the cursing, okay? There'll be a lot of small kids here this weekend."

Brian stared in disbelief. "You do realise Rage is about two guys fucking."

"Brian," Justin laughed, finally interrupting and looking too damn amused by the whole thing. "Um, Kathy-Anne? How long until we have to be somewhere?"

Huffing out a breath, she nonetheless looked relieved to be talking to someone other than Brian. "Well, as you know the main event starts tomorrow, but we do need to get some publicity pictures done tonight, and a meeting with Tom, and-"

"Okay," Justin held up a hand, smiling a little too much, "just come and get us when we're needed. We'll be ready. Right now I think we just need a little space."

For once Brian was actually glad that Justin had taken charge, and in a matter of minutes it was just the two of them alone in the room.

Still, that didn't stop Brian from glowering. "I cannot believe you fucking talked me into this."

Picking up his bag, Justin placed it on the bed and began unzipping. "I didn't talk you into this. Clairol #5 did."

Clearly, Brian couldn't ignore a comment like that and, judging by the smile Justin was doing a bad job of concealing as he went through his bag, he knew it too. Practically squealing when Brian picked him up and threw him onto the bed, Justin didn't waste any time. He pulled Brian down on top of him, laughing as his right hand made quick work of the buttons on Brian's jeans.

God, Brian loved industrious men.

"Feeling tense, huh?" Justin grinned, his hand worming its way beneath denim.

"Something's definitely hard," Brian remarked, closing his eyes and rocking against Justin's hand.

"You know I'm *always* happy to help you relieve stress," Justin breathed into Brian's ear, making him shudder. "Especially when-"

Someone knocked on the door.

Kathy-Anne.

"Guys? We're ready for you now!"

Brian's cock wilted like a helium balloon that'd run out of gas.

***

The next morning they were woken up at some God-awful hour - for the weekend, anyway - and herded out for breakfast. Not long after that they were in a car that was taking them to the convention centre. It was about five minutes away by car, and Kathy-Anne took the time to go over their itinerary *again*.

Brian'd discovered last night that she was actually around to assist *both* of them. He'd expressed his dissatisfaction at not getting his very own assistant - preferably a hot guy with a great ass - before Justin had explained the two-for-one deal.

"We're mostly doing things together anyway, right? Plus I've done this before, Brian, and I'm really low maintenance. She doesn't need to look after me. You, on the other hand..."

Brian had fixed Justin with his best steely glare. "If *anyone* thinks you're low maintenance, Sunshine, they should try living with you for five years."

Justin had just grinned.

They'd also met up with the organiser, Tom, last night. They were already acquainted with him although Brian only had a vague memory of the guy, and this was his first time meeting Tom as a 'guest'. To Brian's surprise, the entire thing involved more work by everyone involved than he'd realised.

Justin's hand squeezing his leg brought Brian back to the present, and he turned his head to see Justin nodding towards the building. "We're here."

The convention centre looked much the same as any other convention centre. Big, sprawling, and not particularly attractive. Brian saw a few people lining up outside as they were driven round to what was apparently the guest entrance, where they were quickly hustled into the building.

Inside, at least, was better designed that the outside and they were lead into a hall filled with tables placed strategically around the room. This was obviously where the autographs were going to be happening.

Kathy-Anne located their table, and Brian's eyes were instantly drawn to the two pieces of yellow cardboard prominently on display.

Justin Taylor
Illustrator/Creator of 'Rage'
Creative Consultant on 'Rage: The Movie'

Brian Kinney
Inspiration for 'Rage'


Brian stared at them for a long time.

"Brian?" Justin asked eventually, his hand resting on Brian's arm.

Brian didn't look at him. "You know I'm proud of you, right?"

He didn't have to look to know that Justin would be wearing a shit-eating, if somewhat emotional, grin.

"Yeah, I know."

Nodding, Brian moved to the other side of the table and took his seat. "Well, let's get this thing started."

Looking around the hall, Brian didn't really know anyone who was already there, but that was expected. They all worked on comics or science fiction movies and TV shows, and though he recognised the occasional actor, that was definitely Mikey's area.

Mikey had been asked to attend of course, but there was yet another ongoing drama with Hunter that'd forced him to stay home. Brian actually thought Hunter was kind of entertaining, but he didn't know how the hell Mikey put up with the kid 24/7. Justin was enough work, and Hunter was at least ten times more obnoxious.

Of course, the upside was that Brian wasn't trying to raise Justin. Just raise certain parts of him.

Kathy-Anne had disappeared somewhere, so Brian and Justin passed the time by discreetly groping each other the way they probably wouldn't be able to for the rest of the day, drawing amused glances from the guests on the tables closest to them. Brian had no idea who any of them were and didn't fucking care.

About ten, fifteen minutes later, Kathy-Anne returned wielding a clipboard and the news that the autographs were due to start at any time.

Regretfully letting go of Justin's package, Brian instead picked up one of the variety of pens on the table and waited to sign his first autograph.

The whole thing turned out to be...okay. A little boring at times. They were hardly the biggest names in the room and sometimes a good few minutes passed before anyone asked for an autograph. Brian wasn't a people person and neither was Justin, but he knew Justin appreciated meeting the fans who enjoyed his work - something Brian definitely understood.

As for the people who were asking for their autographs...well, they were mostly dorks, as Brian suspected, although there were a fair amount of women. There was the occasional fan who seemed to be on crack and was really *really* happy to meet him (which confused the hell out of Brian - these people didn't even know him), but he preferred those over the really quiet fans, who stood there silently with wide, frightened eyes as if Brian was about to rip their arms off.

"Maybe I should do that one time," Brian mused later as Justin rolled his eyes, "live up to the name."

Kathy-Anne had been sitting on Justin's other side the entire time, running interference with the fans, organising who'd be getting an autograph next. At about 12:15 she called for a temporary halt - their panel was due to start at 12:30.

Brian, of course, was used to talking to large crowds of people.

He just wasn't used to talking to large crowds of people about comic books.

A raised area had been set up at the far end of the hall, and there was a fair-sized audience already sitting there - obviously from the talk before theirs. Brian couldn't decide what would be worse - if they all left, or if they all stayed.

Fortunately, they weren't on their own. There was another guy called Caleb waiting to go up with them, who'd apparently worked on Rage's special effects. Justin obviously knew him, and the two talked enthusiastically about the convention before they were called up onto the stage.

It was definitely getting disconcerting now. They were announced and sat behind the tables on the stage, and Brian was nearly blinded by the amount of camera flashes going off.

There was some moderator guy standing on the corner of the stage, thank God, who informed everyone that they were going straight into questions. A microphone had been set up to one side of the audience for anyone who wanted to ask something.

Brian started feeling a little more comfortable when the questions actually started. Justin and Caleb got asked a lot about what it was like working on the movie, what Connor and the other actors were like, what they thought the next movie should be about. The first question specifically addressed to Brian was from a thirty-something guy with a receding hairline:

"What's your first convention experience like? Are you enjoying it?"

Why the fuck had he agreed to do this again?

Oh, yeah. Blackmailing little twinks with dye bottles.

"It's...interesting. And there's a lot more clothing than I expected."

They seemed to like that.

He was asked more questions after that, but most of the time he could defer to Justin or Caleb because he really knew nothing about how the comic and movie were made, something he kept saying but no one quite understood. Brian had never actually done anything - he'd just looked good.

"Brian," the next fan began, a twenty-something blonde woman wearing a t-shirt declaring RAGE/JT OTP - whatever the fuck that meant, "we really appreciate you being here, thanks for coming. I was just wondering if, in your opinion, you think JT will ever be enough for Rage. Or if Rage will always feel the need to, uh," she paused, smiling as she glanced around, "'enjoy himself' with other men."

Turning towards Justin, Brian lifted an eyebrow.

Grinning, Justin simply shrugged.

"Well," Brian began as he turned back to his microphone, thinking up an answer as he went, "as I've said before I really have no input on the storylines of the comic. But in my opinion? In the comic at the moment, Rage really doesn't know how he feels about JT. Yeah, he thinks the kid's hot and he's kind of nice to have around, but that's as far as it goes. I'd expect that, as the comic progresses, that'll change."

Justin's hand rested on his thigh, and it wasn't there to grope.

There were a few more questions for all of them, and then the moderator called for the last question.

The woman with the t-shirt was back again. "Justin, it's well documented that the first issue of Rage was based upon your own bashing, and the fact that Brian saved you-"

"I didn't save him," Brian interrupted. Justin's hand tightened.

"I'm sorry?"

"I didn't save him," Brian interrupted. "Saving him would've meant stopping it before it happened. I couldn't. I just helped him afterwards." What right did these *fuckers* have to talk about this? Didn't they realise some shit was off-limits?

It was silent for a good five seconds before the woman continued.

"Anyway, I know we're all very happy that you're alive and well," she paused as most of the audience clapped or murmured their agreement, "but I was wondering, do you think you ever would've made the comic if you hadn't been bashed? Or would it have been the success that it is?"

Justin meandered over the answer to what he described as a "very interesting question," and then they were finally, *finally* let off the stage.

Brian didn't hear any applause, thumping down the stairs and instantly locking his gaze onto Kathy-Anne. "I need to piss."

She didn't argue, leading him out of the hall until they reached the bathroom. Banging the door open he stormed inside, glaring at some teenager who was busy examining his nose piercing in the mirror.

"Get out," Brian ordered, and the boy didn't even hesitate - he just got the hell out of there.

Justin's voice floated over his shoulder just a few moments later. "Brian..."

"I'm fine," he insisted, moving towards a cubicle, "I just need to piss."

"Don't bullshit me," Justin told him, bracing his hand on the cubicle door before Brian could close it.

Brian tried to break Justin's hold on the door. "Will you get out of the fucking way?"

"How many fucking times do I have to tell you it wasn't your fault?" Justin said. "There was nothing you could have done, *nothing*. And you *did* save my life. If I'd been there on my own, I probably would've been left to bleed to death."

The memories flashed behind Brian's closed eyelids and he tried to turn away, tried to get away, but there was no fucking room to *move*.

"I know," Justin's quiet voice said behind him, "I know that you try not to think about it. That you never really got over it. Me, I...I shaved off all my hair and threatened to blow Chris Hobbs' head off before I got anywhere close to getting over it." A gentle but firm hand rubbed across Brian's back. "It's okay, Brian."

Exhaling heavily, Brian tried to get his body to relax. "They have no right," he told Justin. "No fucking right to talk about it. Ever."

"We'll tell the moderator that for the panel tomorrow," Justin agreed. "No questions that bring up the bashing. Now," he continued lightly as if he hadn't just been talking Brian down from a psychotic episode in a toilet cubicle, "you've never fucked me at an actual convention before. Convention hotel, yes. Convention? No."

Opening his eyes, Brian was greeted by the sight of the toilet bowl. Deciding things would look much better if he changed direction, he stumbled around in the tight space and pulled Justin into a hug.

"I'm gonna fuck you into next Tuesday."

"Mmm, sounds good," Justin wiggled.

And he was never, ever, doing this again.

End