Summary: You don't have a clue / what it is like to be next to you.
Notes: Half of a collaboration with the brilliant, fantastic f1renze. Thanks to rachelanton73 and reinabelle for the quickest betas of all time.
Wherein the fic is only half the story...
said it best in her journal, so I'll just quote her:
On a lazy Saturday afternoon, burnitbackwards and I
took part in an orgy decided to experiment with a new form of collaboration,
where we'd take a song, and use that same song to inspire what we do, namely
vid and write fic (omg please guess which of us does what).
So this project is both a fusion, because the two media eventually come back to the same source of inspiration, and a fission, because from that starting point we each took off in whatever direction we wished to take.
We decided on Fresh Feeling by Eels. I don't think I need to explain what the song is about, but maybe you have wondered what Justin feels, and smells like, to Brian?
f1renze's half: Fresh Feeling the vid
At two on Saturday morning, you come home from Babylon to find an e-mail from Justin that lists his flights back to Pittsburgh; the past six months have proven mostly uneventful, no major relationship disasters or anything like that, but you're still secretly relieved that you just have four more days until he's back in your bed and your life.
At six, you're awakened by the sound of someone pissing in your toilet. You don't remember bringing anyone home with you; in fact, you specifically remember leaving by yourself after a mediocre blowjob, jerking off in the shower, and thinking, "I should probably put out that cigarette" before you fell asleep. There's definitely someone in the bathroom, though, and you only have to wonder who who the fuck it is for about three seconds; as soon as the figure moves to the doorway, you know. There's only the faintest outline of head-shoulders-legs, lit by the streetlights outside, but you've seen this particular body hundreds of thousands of times; you would recognize it in pitch-black darkness.
"Justin," you say, and your voice surprises you: it sounds soft, not as deep as usual. He crosses the floor, shedding clothes that smell like recycled air and bathroom cleaner, but when he pulls down the covers and slides underneath, your nostrils fill with the intoxicating scent of sweet, clean boy.
You bury your nose in his neck, inhaling deeply as you mouth the skin there, and the rush of him -- his taste on your tongue, his hair between your fingers, his cock pressed against your stomach -- leaves you light-headed and overwhelmed. Each breath makes you dizzy, like you're taking in pure oxygen after having breathed dirty air for months.
The two of you spend the entire day in bed, and somehow you've managed to forget how goddamned amazing this feels, having Justin's tight body above you, beneath you, around you. Letting him swallow you whole and turn you into something crisp and new.
Justin makes you swear not to tell anyone that he's come home early, so you don't. He claims that he's too tired to deal with the five million questions that everyone will inevitably ask about Los Angeles; you're pretty sure that he just wants to spend time with you alone, but if keeping quiet means you get to fuck him for hours without interruption, you'll take the secret to your grave.
It's Saturday again before Justin starts to feel guilty about avoiding his friends and family, so the two of you decide that you'll drop by his mom's, then head over to Babylon before rounding out the night at the diner. Jennifer insists that you stay for dinner, and it takes a promise from Justin that he'll come back tomorrow before she lets you escape, bellies so full that dancing seems like it should be the last item on the night's agenda.
As soon as he steps in the door of Babylon, though, Justin looks visibly energized. You watch him intently as he gazes across the place, a tiny smile stretched across his lips. He breathes in deeply and grabs your hand. "It smells like fuck," he announces, and you laugh. "I love it."
When you reach the middle of the floor, he stops abruptly and spins to face you, knocking your bodies together. Tonight's theme is something tropical, you guess, because the cage dancers are wearing goggles and Speedos and the lights glow a warm orange, turning his skin bright and golden. You feel a pang of regret that you got rid of the bedroom lighting before he got back; the way the color played across his body made the bed your favorite place to fuck him. He always felt so fucking hot, like he had absorbed the heat through his pores and was intent on spreading it through you, too.
He leans further into you and drags his tongue up the side of your neck, licking away the sweat that's already gathering there. When he pulls back to meet your eyes, you grip his hair and kiss him until he groans; you can taste yourself in his mouth, and the thought of any part of you inside him makes your cock throb. You whisper the dirtiest words you know into his ear and he thrusts his hips against you; you could make him come right here in front of all these people. You know you can because you've done it before, grinding the orgasm out of his dick and into his jeans. You're considering doing just that when he slides his fingers through yours and leads you towards the backroom.
You push him against the wall and he pushes against your cock, silently urging you on. You start to open your mouth to say something, tell him how hot he looks or how much you want this, but you think better of it; there are no words for this.
Three more Saturdays pass before you start to feel that irritating twitch that means you're about to turn into a raging asshole; you don't think it's a coincidence that this happens on the day you and Justin haul the last of the boxes from Daphne's apartment to the loft. He says he's going to run out and pick up a few things, and you're not sure you want to know what that means; then he comes back, and you're sure you didn't want to know.
He's bought groceries. For both of you.
This is it: your freedom, your entire way of life gone in the time it takes to say "non-fat, no sugar added peanut butter." You berate yourself for not realizing all that this entailed, all that it would mean when Justin finally moved in for real, not because he had to but because he wanted to and because that was what you wanted, too. The loft starts to feel suffocatingly small, and you've got to get out of here right now.
You brush past him as he puts the bread in the cabinet, matching his-and-his loaves, and force yourself to ignore the puzzled way he says your name as you slam the door shut. You consider going to Woody's but decide on the baths instead; you want to come home reeking of sweat and fuck and other men, make sure he understands -- really, really understands -- that you're not some domestic house fag who's going to massage his feet at night and let him cook for you.
When you get back, he's hanging his clothes in the closet, and you sidle up behind him, pressing yourself against his back. He greets you casually, leaning his head back to kiss you then going back to his task. You know he can smell you; you know you fucking stink. He reaches in to hang a shirt and you skim your palm down his arm and pry the hanger from him, dropping it and the shirt onto the floor. When he stills, you guide both hands, yours and his, to his dick and rub hard; he lets you, which pisses you off. He's supposed to get angry, goddamnit. You spin him around and look unwaveringly into his eyes, willing him to react, all but begging him to say something, to tell you that you're disgusting and that this has all been a huge mistake.
He watches you impassively before opening his mouth to speak, thank God.
"You want to believe that you can't change," he says, "but it's too late. It's already happened."
No, you want to tell him. No it hasn't; if he doesn't believe you, he can ask the guy you fucked not half an hour ago. You raise your eyebrow at him in a challenging gesture, and he smiles -- fucking smiles -- at you. "Accept it or don't, Brian; it doesn't make that much of a difference in the end."
He bends down to retrieve the coathanger, and you catch a whiff of yourself. You need a fucking shower.
A year of Saturdays later, he still hasn't left you. You think that maybe you're starting to get used to the idea that he won't, but you know it's stupid to hope for something you can't guarantee. You're always going to be a fuck-up, halfway through the countdown to self-destruction, and you can't expect someone like Justin -- someone normal -- to stick around through that forever. You want him to, though, even despite the fact that it feels so selfish; Justin could have anything, be anything and with anyone, and still he chooses to stay here.
You used to let him think that it was you that didn't want to be with him, but he's smart enough to have seen through that facade long ago. Whenever that ugly, self-deprecating side comes out of you, he doesn't run away like a hurt, petulant child anymore; he holds his ground, and you often catch him looking at you like he's wondering if you're insane for thinking he'd ever leave again.
He doesn't have a clue what it's like for you, though, being near him; his presence alone is enough to seduce you and slay you all at once. He has absolutely no idea how it feels, so beautifully painful, like sharp winter air entering your lungs. You've tried to run from it, tried to push it away, and it's never worked. He's never let you; he never will.
And right now, lying languid and satiate in your bed, the bed that you share with him, you draw your fingers through his hair and allow yourself to bask in his love for you. To accept this -- him -- for what it is: one sweet note, rising out of the cacophony of your life.