Summary: Brian/Justin, post S3. Possibly part of a tentative series entitled "Domestic Tranquility". Justin's not feeling so well.
Disclaimer: Cowlip. Sue not.
"How long do we have to stay?"
"At least two hours."
Momentary silence. Then, "We have to go?"
Brian throws his razor down into the sink with a clatter. "Fuck, Justin. You asked me that twice already. Yes, we have to go. It's my company. I'm giving my clients their annual blowjob."
"Sorry," Justin says listlessly, and picks at a thread on the towel around his waist. "I don't feel that good."
Brian grins at him in the mirror. "Hungover, hmm? You got in after two. Last I saw, you had your dick in some guy's mouth and looked like you were feeling okay to me."
Justin smiles wanly. "I guess. I didn't drink that much. That new bartender's got a heavy hand, though."
"And a talented one," Brian murmurs, but Justin ignores him and lies back on the bed.
"Do not tempt me with your wily ways, little boy," Brian says as he passes the bed, but trails his fingers over Justin's taut stomach anyway. He takes a freshly pressed suit from the closet. "Get dressed. Wear the blue."
"It reminds me of my high school uniform," Justin grumbles, but dresses slowly and ignores the pounding in his head.
* * *
There is too much backslapping and ho-ho-ho-ing from Brian's clients for Justin to tolerate without a stiff drink, so he gets one. The rented bartender hands it to him with a slow smile, but even though he has nice teeth and green eyes, Justin can't even feign interest. His headache has increased to an intense throbbing and his stomach feels queasy. His hangover - what there was of one, anyway - should have been gone by noon.
Brian appears at his side and cocks his head subtly at the bartender. "He likes you," he says in Justin's ear while simultaneously smiling his ad-exec smile and raising his glass at his newest client.
"Who?" Justin says, to piss Brian off, because suddenly he finds himself in that kind of mood.
"Go fuck him," Brian orders quietly from behind his bourbon.
"Why? So I'm not underfoot?"
"Yes," Brian says. "And also so I don't have to watch you trying to send me 'let's go home' vibes from across the room."
"It wasn't your 'blow me now' vibe, that's for sure, kiddo. So fuck the pretty bartender, eat some of those shrimp things I paid too much for, and think about which position you're going to let me nail you in later." Brian is smiling but Justin hears the edge in his voice and knows he is far from amused.
They are interrupted by a stout, loud man with an equally stout wife. "Good stuff, Kinney! Let me talk to you about that last write-up your man did." Justin watches as the client propels Brian toward a corner of the room. Brian shoots a murderous look over his shoulder at Justin, who decides to ignore him in favor of finding somewhere to sit down.
A wave of dizziness hits him and Justin slides onto a padded velvet bench, leaning his head against the wall. Cold, he thinks vaguely, and feels goosebumps rise along his arms, even though a moment ago it had been too warm in the room. He looks down into his drink and watches the ice cubes clink against each other and wonders why his eyes are so heavy.
* * *
Brian thinks he might commit homicide if he has to kiss any more ass this evening, and extricates himself from a group of laughing, overweight men who have been telling fag jokes all night. He dodges the wife of the new bottled water account and pushes open the restroom door. Blessed fucking quiet.
Except not, because someone's puking in the farthest stall and Brian thinks 'kill me' and is about to turn around and walk out when he recognizes the suit pants that are getting wet from kneeling on the bathroom floor.
"Justin?" Brian says outside the stall door and hopes that this is just a result of last night's partying. Or tonight's.
"No," Justin says, in between dry heaves.
"So fucking childish," Brian curses to himself, and bangs once on the door. "You need help?"
"Do you think you can puke standing up, then? That suit's Hugo Boss and I was hoping you'd get more than one wearing out of it."
"Fuck you," Justin says weakly, and although Brian wants to grin at the words, Justin's voice is all wrong.
"Open the door, Justin," Brian says in his no-nonsense tone, and is alarmed when Justin actually complies. His no-nonsense tone is always the one Justin disobeys the most.
Brian pushes open the stall door as much as Justin's kneeling figure will allow and squeezes inside. Justin does not look up. "What did you drink?" Brian asks him.
"Nothing. Half a glass of JD."
"What did you take?"
"Fuck off. Nothing. I'm not some junkie who has to have a hit just to make it through the most boring party I've ever been to."
Brian squats down and pushes Justin's hair off his forehead. "Look this way so I can see you," he demands, and Justin glances at him with glassy eyes and flushed cheeks.
"Christ. You're sick."
"Told you," Justin mumbles. "Get out. I'm gonna puke again."
But Brian stays where he is and puts a hand on Justin's back; rubbing in slow circles until Justin is done vomiting and sits, panting, on the bathroom floor.
Justin nods once.
Justin doesn't think he could move if the bathroom was on fire and wonders if it would be okay if he lay down and put his cheek on the cool tile. He is about to do it - screw the suit; the pants are already ruined - when Brian comes back with a cup of cool water and moist paper towels.
"Drink this," he instructs, and crouches down to wipe Justin's sweaty face. Justin manages three swallows of water before throwing it back up, this time missing the toilet completely but managing to get the sleeve of Brian's jacket.
"Oh, shit," Justin croaks. "Sorry."
Brian heaves a sigh. "You'll get it dry-cleaned for me. From Yee's, not that cheap place on Third Street. Fuck, you're sitting in puke. Perfect."
Justin makes an effort to get to his feet but wonders why the wall feels like it's sliding away beneath his back. He manages to right himself by clutching the top of the stall door with one hand and Brian with the other. "Sort of dizzy," he says in the direction of Brian's face, and Brian says something back but Justin starts shivering so hard that he can't hear him.
"Just what I fucking need," Brian mutters, and half-drags, half-carries Justin to the small couch near the sinks. "Wait here," he tells him. "And try to make it to the sink if you have to throw up."
Justin closes his eyes and thinks cool thoughts.
* * *
"If you're going to hurl, let me know. No, don't put the window up, goddammit. You don't smell like daisies right now."
"Make up your fucking mind. A minute ago you said you were burning up." Brian does not say that Justin's skin feels like a furnace because that might give the impression that he is worried, and really, there's nothing to be worried about. The kid's sick, that's all. Flu. Nothing serious.
"Is it over?" Justin turns concerned eyes his way.
"Every party's over when I leave," Brian answers blithely.
"But your accounts -"
"Would be insane to jump ship after all the free fucking hooch they're getting. And fuck 'em if they do. They'll come crawling back." Brian seems unconcerned, which only serves to confuse Justin more.
"But you said it was important for ... for ... public relations, or something. You said we had to be there all night. You said -"
"Enough," Brian cuts him off, and wonders why in hell there are so many damn red lights at midnight. "There was an unexpected change in schedule."
Justin wants to argue some more but his roiling stomach won't let him. "Brian," he says cautiously, trying not to move his head.
"Enough, I said! Fuck, I'm running the next light."
"Can you not shut up for ten goddamn seconds? I left the ass-kissing to Dan, who's been my assistant long enough to know how."
"You said -"
Brian screeches the Explorer to a halt in the middle of the wet, deserted street. "Oh my fucking God. If you don't shut up right now, I'm dumping you out on the corner and I don't give a shit how sick you are. Jesus."
"You said to let you know if I was going to hurl," Justin says feebly, and Brian leans over to shove the door open just in time.
* * *
Justin recites a mantra to himself on the way home. 'I will not throw up on Brian's leather interior. I will not throw up on Brian's leather interior. I will not throw up on Brian's leather interior.' It works, he manages to wait until they have reached the front door of the apartment building, where he leans over the railing and retches onto the sidewalk instead.
"Christ," Brian says again. "You got anything left?"
"Hope not," Justin says, and has to let the railing support him for a minute. When he walks into the lobby, the elevator is out of order. The chasm of stairs yawns before him and he almost whimpers. "I have to walk?" he asks, and wonders why his voice sounds like there are tears threatening at the back of his throat.
But then Brian is there, large and warm, with a strong arm around his shoulders and a wry grin. "All the better for me to watch your ass," he purrs, and pulls him up the stairs.
* * *
By two-thirty in the morning Brian has changed the sheets twice and Justin's pajamas three times, and Justin no longer wants to get up off the bathroom floor.
"S'cool down here," he mumbles against the tile.
"You cannot lie on the floor," Brian says reasonably. "I don't want to step over you to pee."
"Pee in the tub," is the weak response, and Brian would laugh except Justin is shivering harder than before, despite the two blankets Brian has covered him with.
Brian stares down at the sick, shaking blond and has the brief thought that he could be anywhere else in the world right now, he could be tricking or dancing or taking a hit or rolling a joint, but instead he is here, playing nursemaid to a young twink who gives sensational head.
The thought really doesn't bother him as much as it should, and that in itself bothers him a lot.
Brian remains unconcerned for another hour, until Justin starts crying.
* * *
"No. Whythefuck would I have a thermometer? I don't need one to know he's got a fever. What? Why?"
Justin emerges from the cloudy gray into momentary wakefulness. He feels the tile under his back but it is cushioned with a blanket. Justin wonders how it got there. He also wonders when Brian started keeping pillows on his bathroom floor because he likes the one under his head. At least it's keeping his headache from erupting into a full-scale volcano. Right now it feels like gently seeping lava, and that he can live with. Justin listens to Brian on the phone and thinks that if Brian is making plans to entertain a trick at his place, they'll have to keep the noise down because he's trying to sleep.
"Because you're a mother, that's why. Don't you know about this shit? Jesus! I don't know, probably the flu. I think. I'm not a fucking doctor. The kid's been puking since eleven o'clock and shaking like milk."
Quiet, Justin thinks. I'm sleeping. Not puking. And stop quoting The Cure.
"Yes. Yes. Okay, yes, fine."
Brian slams down the phone and jams a hand through his hair. He turns to look at Justin on his floor and wonders when he got signed on for this.
* * *
"He's on the bathroom floor?" Lindsay squeaks, shooting Brian an incredulous look and bending down.
"He can't stain tile," Brian says dryly, indicating the large pile of dirty bedlinens.
"Good thing you called, then," Lindsay answers calmly. "You'd probably tie his arms around the toilet bowl if you could." Lindsay crouches next to a pale Justin and strokes his bangs from his forehead. "Sweetie," she whispers, "come on. Back to bed."
Justin turns groggily toward the soft, feminine voice. "Mom?" he asks, and hears Brian snort from somewhere above him.
"Nope, it's Linds, honey," Lindsay replies.
"Wanna sleep here," Justin mumbles, and turns his face away.
"See?" Brian says. "Kid knows what he wants."
"Oh my God, Brian, just pick him up, please."
Brian flares his nostrils but scoops Justin easily into his arms, and ignores the twinge of protectiveness he feels when Justin nestles into him. Brian knows Justin won't remember it in the morning and is grateful for small favors.
Lindsay is busy with something at the sink and says briskly, "Put him in bed. And so help me, if you say one goddamn word about your Egyptian sheets or your silk duvet cover, this child is coming home with me."
An instant passes between them where Brian knows Lindsay is allowing him the freedom of pretending not to care, and Lindsay knows that she would never be able to pry Justin from Brian's arms. Brian is grateful and then pissed off at the same time, because this is just too much trouble to be going through at three-thirty in the fucking morning.
* * *
Lindsay produces a thermometer and announces Justin's fever is high but not dangerously so, and spends thirty minutes sponging Justin's face and arms and murmuring things to him that Brian can't hear. He has trouble deciding if he's relieved to see Justin is awake or annoyed that the kid chose to reward Lindsay with his big blue eyes instead of throwing up on her.
They both giggle quietly at something Lindsay says and Brian decides he's definitely annoyed.
* * *
At a quarter to five, Lindsay kisses Justin's warm forehead and turns to watch Brian lurking in the doorway. He bites the side of his thumbnail and gestures with his chin at a sleeping Justin.
"He'll live, I take it."
She smiles softly. "He'll live. He just needed a tender touch."
"I give him plenty of tender touches."
"Pardon me. I meant a woman's touch."
Lindsay doesn't give him the opportunity to argue and Brian thinks about trying to, but his eyes are grainy and Justin hasn't thrown up on the last of the good sheets yet, so he should probably lie down on them while the getting's good.
"Give him Gatorade and water when he wakes up. Gus and Mel both had this thing last week. The vomiting's done, I think, but he'll have a temperature for another day or two."
Brian nods wearily, not caring now if Justin wants to heave all over him, he just needs to lie down before he falls down. "You're, uh ... good at that," Brian says, gesturing vaguely toward the bathroom and the bed.
"You're welcome," Lindsay says.
* * *
Brian sleeps till noon, and decides getting up and going to work is in order. He tests Justin's forehead before he goes, and thinks it is cooler.
* * *
When he arrives home at eight, the loft smells like Debbie's homemade chicken soup and Brian hears the shower running. He calmly divests himself of his work clothes - gray cords, maroon shirt, black tie - and puts on club clothes. When Justin comes out of the shower looking shaky but cheerful and says, "Hey!" Brian replies, "I'm going out."
He doesn't come home for two nights.
* * *
"I haven't seen him," Michael lies again on the afternoon of the second day, and Justin tries to hold his temper but two days of no Brian and roaming the empty loft has taken its toll.
"That's shit," Justin says, fuming around the store, but Michael is trying on his 'Brian Kinney is a helpless child who needs my protection' hat and has all the accompanying smarminess.
"Maybe he got tired of nursing you," Michael says cheerfully. "He's got Gus, if he wants to be a daddy."
"I was sick," Justin says carefully. "And I didn't ask him to nurse me. He couldn't deal, anyway. He called Lindsay." He tries very hard not to curl his fingers into a fist, because then his hand might act of its own accord and Justin really doesn't want to be responsible for leveling Michael Novotny. Apparently, only Brian is allowed to do that.
"I know," Michael says in his best superior voice. "I also know you made him leave his annual client kiss-ass thing because you were 'sick'."
Justin stops thinking like a normal human being and leans in over the counter. He shoves the comic Michael is reading to the floor, and Michael has the brief thought that maybe he should be a little concerned about the look on Justin's face, since he's never really seen an expression like that before.
Except maybe on Brian.
"Since you know everything," Justin says in a low voice, "tell me what Brian sounds like when he comes."
This is not the conversation he was having a minute ago, and Michael is caught like a deer in headlights. There is imminent danger but he is unable to look away from the unnatural brilliance in Justin's eyes. "I've heard him come a thousand times," Michael sneers, and hopes his voice doesn't really sound as unsure as he thinks it does. "We've been to Babylon together since we were younger than you. I've been in that back room with him while he's been sucked off more times than I can count."
Justin smiles ferally and Michael wonders how he walked into a trap without even watching where he was going.
"But you've never been the source of those small whimpers, have you, Michael? Do you know the noise he makes in the back of his throat when he's getting a really good blow? Did you know that he likes to grab on to things, like my hair or the sheets? You know everything about him, Michael, tell me what his come tastes like." Justin really, really wants to stop talking now, but two days of the flu and then two more days of unexplained absence from Brian have left his better judgement somewhere else.
Michael swallows and tries to school his features into some kind of indignant expression but can't really manage it. The intensity emanating from Justin is sort of magnetic, and Michael is helpless against it.
Michael thinks maybe he gets it, now.
"What's it like to fuck Brian Kinney, Mikey?" Justin is still very calm and quiet but Michael hears the razor's edge underneath his words. "Did you know that Ecstasy makes the small of his back his most sensitive spot, even more sensitive than his balls or his dick or the soft place behind his ear? Did you know that when he lets me top him, I can make him come in thirty seconds?"
And now Michael forgets about trying to be annoyed and starts being a little nervous, because aside from being mesmerized by Justin's words, he starts thinking that maybe, really, there are some things about Brian Kinney that he doesn't know, and that would be impossible.
"His come is sweet," Justin continues in a low voice. "And he can fuck me four times in three hours, and only stops because I beg him to. And he loves hand jobs in the shower. Did you know all that, Michael?"
"Well," Brian drawls from behind them, "why don't we just take out a personals ad in the Gazette, and then all of fucking Pittsburgh will know?"
Justin whirls around and Michael is gratified to see a slow flush creep up the back of Justin's neck.
Brian stands casually in the middle of Michael's store, dressed in an overcoat and holding the briefcase Justin bought him for his birthday last year. Michael has never been more glad to see him in his entire life. He figures Justin will rail at him now, demand to know where he's been for the past two days when Brian hasn't really been anyplace but on Michael's couch. He waits for the tantrum, waits for it with a sort of gleeful impatience, because then maybe Brian will be able to cut him down once and for all and the kid will learn his place.
Michael watches the two face off, one fair and one dark, and notices that the silence between them is saying more than the angry words he wanted them to hurl at each other. Justin stares up at him with a scowl while Brian looks coolly back, and Michael has the sensation that Justin is right.
There are things this kid knows that Michael will never know.
* * *
"I was sick, Brian, it wasn't the apocalypse. The world didn't fucking end."
"What the hell does that mean?" Brian roots around in the refrigerator for a beer.
"It means I got sick, I couldn't help it, and you punished me for it, you bastard." Justin wonders why this is so confusing.
Brian carefully doesn't look at Justin because the kid's eyes are huge in his face and he's not going to get sucked in, goddammit. He's not going to become invested in this, just like he wasn't invested the first time they went around, and just like he wasn't invested when they broke up. Becoming invested now means all the fucking shit you have to go through in a relationship, and Brian Kinney does not have relationships. Ever. Except maybe with his treadmill.
Justin watches him tip his beer bottle back and take a swallow, and a strange thought occurs. "You didn't - you weren't - were you worried? When I wasn't feeling good?"
"Worried about the stains on my new duvet cover," Brian jovially agrees, and goes to take a shower. When he comes out, Justin is sitting on the couch, grinning.
"What's that asshole smile for?" Brian wants to know, and decides to look for dinner.
Justin follows him like a five year old. "You worried," he laughs, and Brian wonders why everyone else in the fucking world bows down to the fucking ground before him, but this brat laughs. "You worried," he says again. "That's why you called Lindsay. You were worried and you didn't know what to do." He giggles in total delighted relief and Brian tries not to notice that the kid's eyes are luminous, because Justin's glowing eyes are always a dangerous thing.
"Yes," Brian says in a bored voice. "I was so worried about my Sunshine." He drags out the 'so' and tries to make it sound as sarcastic as possible. "Does that make you feel better? If it helps you sleep, think whatever you want." He crosses the kitchen with five red potatoes and plunks them in water to boil.
Justin pushes himself up to sit on the counter and smirks like an idiot. "I don't know why I let you surprise me. It's always the same pattern." He stops to muse over it for a while, and Brian measures the silence.
"Okay," Justin continues, after five blessed minutes of quiet, and Brian makes sure Justin sees him roll his eyes. "Okay. I think I've got it. We go along fine for a few weeks, maybe even a couple months or more. Then there's a - shit, what would you call it? A deviation."
"Right. Departure from the norm."
"Yes, I know what a deviation is. Why are you so obnoxious?"
Justin is thinking too hard to pay attention to childish insults, so he doesn't. "Like me getting sick, see?" Justin thinks this is all very clear but Brian has no idea where he's going with it, and that's never a good thing. Brian hates surprises.
"Yeah, that was a deviation, all right," Brian snorts, and salts the boiling potatoes. "You deviated all over my bedroom."
"And you weren't ready for it. And I made you worry. So as soon as I was better, you freaked out and went to Michael's."
"I never said I was at Michael's."
Justin's eyes almost roll out of his head. "He walked around for two days with a shit-eating grin on his face and his chest puffed out like a rooster. It wasn't hard to figure out you were gracing his couch's presence." He kicks his feet against the counter and practically wriggles with pleasure, and Brian wonders how he can sound so mature and look so young at the same time.
"You think you got me all figured out?" Brian says with amusement. "You think you, some spoiled brat kid, have done what far greater men before you have failed to do?"
Justin cocks his head and tries to keep the smile from his face, but falls short. "Get over here," he demands, and looks so authoritative that Brian laughs, and goes. He nudges apart Justin's knees and nestles himself into the vee of his legs.
"Maybe I had some space issues," Brian admits, and Justin is smart enough to know it's the closest thing to a "you're right and I was wrong" that he's going to get, possibly the closest thing to an apology that Brian Kinney will ever give him or anyone.
"Could you at least tell me next time before you freak out?"
"I do not freak out. I go about things in a calm, rational manner that befits the situation. Unlike you, who stalked my best friend. I think you scarred him permanently. Really, Justin, you had to crow about topping me? I can count on one hand the times you've done it. And have fingers left over."
Justin wisely does not say, "He deserved it," but Brian knows he wants to. He says instead, "You love cock as much as I do. Don't pretend you don't get off on me fucking you."
"I should, I taught you how."
Justin slides one hand into the waistband of Brian's blue sweats and finds him stiff and ready. "You're so damn easy," he grins just before Brian brings his head down for a kiss, biting and sucking at Justin's bottom lip before sweeping his tongue inside.
"Get down," Brian growls, tugging Justin from the counter, "and why are you always so fucking slow about getting your clothes off?"
Justin decides it's easier not to answer and just shucks his jeans instead.
Brian nods his approval. "Good thing you didn't lose too much weight," he says, while perusing Justin's body. "I can't fuck guys who are skin and bones. Too pointy."
Justin tackles him then, and they go down laughing to the kitchen floor. Justin lies in the familiar, submissive position, anxious and hard and wanting, but Brian surprises him because for as long as they both can fuck, Brian Kinney will never be predictable.
"No," Brian says, and urges him to his back. "You were sick. You'd better take it easy. I don't want a relapse," and then he glorifies in the sharp intake of breath that Justin makes when Brian takes his cock in his mouth. Justin can give head like no one he's ever known, but he can receive it just as well. Brian appreciates vocality during sex, just like he appreciates anything tactile and touchable, and Justin never disappoints.
"Yes," Justin murmurs, arching his neck against the hardwood floor, knowing that this is the second part of Brian's almost-apology, and Brian slips the soft mushroom tip past his lips to tongue the small hole, keeping a firm hand around the shaft and bringing his other hand up to cup Justin's full sac.
How a slight, lean kid like this wound up with a huge cock is not for Brian to wonder why. It is merely for him to enjoy, and he knows Justin was right - more than right - when he told Brian he loved cock.
Brian can make this last all night if he feels like it, and it isn't bragging. Just a fact. All he has to do is lower his head slowly ... slowly, keeping a nice suction going, and he pulls back for a minute to admire the stiffness of Justin's dick and how it is coated with his saliva.
Justin refuses to let Brian admire for long, thrusting up impatiently and whimpering, so Brian takes pity on him and begins a steady rhythm. He laves with the flat of his tongue, keeping his hand firmly at the base of Justin's cock, making Justin hiss and buck beneath him and say "Brian" in the tone of voice that makes Brian even harder than before.
When Brian whispers "Do it," at him, Justin slams his hands down on the kitchen floor and scrabbles for purchase. He comes in short jerks, groaning Brian's name in the back of his throat, and to Brian it seems to last for a very long time.
Justin lies on the hard floor and stares up at the beamed ceiling. He feels Brian lay his head on his thigh, and reaches down to tangle a hand in his hair. The hiss of the water boiling over on the stove distracts him.
"Oh, shit. There goes dinner. You wanna get takeout?" Justin doesn't really care what they eat, he just wants to lie there with his limbs feeling languid and heavy and touch Brian's hair.
Brian makes a face against Justin's leg. "Nah."
"You don't want to eat?"
"I'm not feeling that good."