Summary: Justin and Brian meet Jennifer's new boyfriend
Rating/Warnings/Notes: PG-13. Future fic, takes place about 3 years after S4. Justin’s POV.
Beta/thanks: shape5 is the most patient beta ever. She rocks hardcore. Also thanks to my
dear friends paddies
for holding my hand.
Disclaimer: Brian and Justin belong to Cowlip, no copyright infringement is intended.
Feedback: Oh yes, please feed me, kthx.
A/N: This is set in the same universe as Family Date, but it also works as a Stand Alone.
“Stop fidgeting, Justin.”
“I am not.”
“Sure you are.”
“I’m… fuck! This tie. I just…” I roll my eyes and leave the tie as it is, a complete mess around my neck. I breathe in and out. I’m calm. I’m relaxed. I’m cool.
Okay, so maybe I’m none of these things. But honestly, could you blame me? It’s not like you meet the new man in your mother’s life every day. That’s why I’m nervous. A bit. After all, I just want the best for her. What will happen if I don’t like the guy? Maybe he's a complete prick. Maybe he's a homophobic asshole… but then he wouldn’t want to meet me, would he? Maybe he is just curious. Oh well. I don’t know what to think anymore.
“Jesus, you’re not nineteen anymore, I thought you’d have learned how to tie a tie by now.” Brian covers the space between us with a few steps, picks up the ends of the tie and helps me.
“I know how to do that, okay?” I protest but let Brian do the work. He, as usual, looks fucking amazing in his casual but classic dark gray suit, and he oozes confidence. Well, it’s not like he really has anything to worry about. Not tonight, anyway. Tonight, it’s all about me and my mother.
“There you go.” Brian steps back and eyes me up and down. “Now relax. You look great. You’ll blow him… away.” He smirks.
“That’s not funny, Brian.”
“Whatever. Just calm down, okay? He’s just the guy fucking your mother. Nothing to worry about.”
“You’re really disgusting sometimes. At least try to behave, alright?”
“Of course, Sunshine,” Brian mocks, “trust me.”
I don’t trust him at all and I silently curse my mother for inviting us both. She has no idea what she’s gotten herself into.
“Justin. Brian. Come in.” My mother welcomes us warmly and I begin to think that I’m the only one who is nervous about all this. Which just makes it worse. Brian is right, this Robert is just the guy fucking my mother – dammit, I better get rid of that image fast. We enter the house and there he is: Robert, the lawyer, divorced, no kids. I try to remember everything my mother told me about him and scan my mind for possible topics of conversation while I step closer to him. The first thing I notice about Robert is his height: he is taller than my dad. And in better shape. And he is smiling at me. So far, so good. And then, my mother introduces us.
“Robert, this is my son Justin.”
“Justin. So good to finally meet you.” His voice is soft and genuinely kind, and finally, I feel some of the nerves fade away.
I smile back and shake his hand. His grip is firm, the palm is dry. “Nice to meet you.” He smiles again, but it’s surprisingly not irritating or anything. It looks like a smile of relief. Maybe I wasn’t the only nervous one here. It makes me instantly like Robert, as if we are bonding or something.
“And this,” my mother goes on, “is Brian Kinney, Justin’s partner.”
It takes me two or three seconds to realize what is going on. Robert turns to Brian and extends his hand towards him, just as he did with me. He then pauses for a split second before Brian can catch it. The short hesitation and slight tremble of his voice when he says “Br... Brian, pleased to meet you” gives him away.
He had no idea. My mother didn’t tell him about Brian and me.
I look at Brian, see his lips curl into that smirk and can tell he got it, too.
“Robert. The lawyer. Divorced, no kids,” he repeats what I just thought about moments earlier. “I’ve heard a lot about you,” he adds and I can almost see Robert wincing, because what is he supposed to answer now? If my suspicions are right, he's probably never heard of Brian before.
I glance at my mother, who observes the situation with keen interest. I wonder when she became so manipulative and am a little angry with her for shoving me, Brian and, most of all, poor Robert, into such a situation.
“I, uhm, well,” Robert finally stutters. He’s still holding onto Brian’s hand, and I guess his palms are beginning to sweat by now. “Thank you.”
I have to do something. “Mom, what’s for dinner? Smells wonderful.” Okay, not exactly a classic, but it makes Robert let go off Brian’s hand and my mother tear her gaze away from her partner-to-be meeting the closest-to-son-in-law-she-will-ever-get.
“Chicken Parmesan à la Deb,” she smiles and gestures towards the table. “Please, sit down. I’ll be right with you.”
We move over to the table and take our seats. In some alternate universe, I might search for Brian’s hand under the table and squeeze it for assurance, but this is still the real world and I know Brian would never let me hear the end of it. So I just smile politely and hope the uncomfortable silence that fills the air now that my mother is gone will not last for long.
“Bobby, take care of drinks, will you?” I hear Mom’s voice from the kitchen and Robert – Bobby? – looks even more relieved now that he has a mission than he did when he found out that his girlfriend’s son wasn’t some bad ass freak but just a queer living with an older man.
Stop, Justin, stop.
“I will, Jenny,” Robert shouts back and I kick Brian under the table as precaution.
Bobby and Jenny. It can’t get any worse.
Jenny – not Michael’s daughter but my mother – returns with a tray full of food just as Robert finishes pouring the wine. She places the bowls onto the table, puts the tray aside and joins us.
“Here’s to us,” she lifts her glass.
Wine never tasted so good before.
“So where’s Molly?” I ask while my mother loads our plates.
“She’s staying with a friend tonight.”
We start dinner in silence. It’s good and I’m happy I’m busy for the moment. But someone has to make some light conversation, right? I try to think of something.
“So Jenny tells me you’re an artist, Justin?”
“Any chance of seeing some of your work?”
“Sure. I have shows in different galleries across town, if you’re interested. The next one opens...”
“He also illustrates a comic book,” Brian barges in.
“Oh really?” Robert sounds genuinely interested. “Anything I might know?”
“Probably not,” I answer. “It’s very indie, you know, never got the attention of the general audience. It was supposed to be turned into a movie once, but things didn’t work out.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Robert says, but I shake my head.
“That’s okay. It’s become more of a success than I’ve ever imagined anyway.”
“And it’s got the most irresistible superhero ever,” Brian adds. “Justin will get you a copy.”
I doubt that.
“That would be nice.” Robert nods and looks back at me. “So how does that work for you, following classical and comic art at the same time?”
“Works alright. It’s nicer to deal with different kind of things than just doing the same old thing every day, I guess.”
“You’re very lucky to be talented in different fields,” Robert states.
Brian smirks. “Justin’s always been a very versatile boy.”
“So Mom tells me you two met when you moved to Pittsburgh?” I quickly interject before Brian’s comment touches ground.
“I was looking for a place to stay. I had no idea I’d find so much more,” Robert says and I kick Brian again. He stays silent, good for him. He knows I’ll make him pay later for every single snarky comment.
“Oh, Bobby,” my mother gushes and blushes slightly and I think that maybe I need a kick, too.
“It’s true,” Robert adds, “you should’ve seen her. All professional, trying to sell me a house… But I only had eyes for her. She could’ve sold me a dump, I wouldn’t have noticed. She has that effect on people.”
“No shit. She sold me a bathhouse as office space, alright,” Brian snorts.
“I helped Brian turn a building formerly used for recreational purposes into the headquarters of his company,” my mother explains, as if it’s the most natural thing to work in a place where gang banging was common practice.
“I see. So what do you do for a living, Brian?”
“I own Kinnetik. We’re in advertising.”
“Kinnetik. Catchy name.”
“It’s genius. Sunshine here came up with it.”
“Sunshine,” Robert repeats and smirks. “So how did the two of you meet? If you don’t mind me asking.”
“Of course not,” Brian answers jovially and I hope he know what he is doing. I sure as hell do not. “We met under a streetlight. It was Justin’s first night out in the big, bad city and he was as lucky as one could get, running straight into my arms. Although there was nothing straight about it, if you know what I mean.”
“It wasn’t exactly like that,” I say just for the sake of saying something. Brian is on a roll now and I have to stop him.
“It wasn’t? Help me remember then.” Brian leans back in his chair and eyes me with amusement.
I roll my eyes at him and sigh. I can’t believe he’s up for this kind of game now, on this important evening.
“We met under a streetlight,” I begin, “you got that part right. But it was more you running into my arms than the other way around. In fact, I didn't move at all.”
“You made some pretty fancy moves that night, if I remember correctly.”
“Anybody care for dessert?” my mother interrupts and I shake my head vigorously.
“Okay,” she goes on, “then why don’t we move over to the living room, seeing as everyone’s finished? It’s much more comfortable over there.”
I smile at her and get up. Robert uses the moment to excuse himself and leaves for the bathroom.
“Mom,” I whisper as soon as he’s gone. “What is this all about?”
“What? We eat and talk.” She collects the dishes and moves over to the kitchen. I grab a pair of bowls and follow her. I know without looking that Brian grabbed something and followed us, too.
“You know what I’m talking about,” I say as I corner her in the kitchen. “Why didn’t you tell him about Brian and me?”
“What’s to tell? It shouldn’t matter.”
“Of course it shouldn’t, but why did you keep it a secret?”
“I didn’t. I just didn’t mention it.” She sighs. “Look, Justin. I really like this man. But before I ever trust someone again, I have to know he accepts me and the ones I love just the way they are. I wouldn’t want Robert to be nice to you because he thinks he has to. I wanted to see his genuine reaction. Maybe I was wrong, but... I never ever want to argue about my son’s sexuality with any man in my life. So if he just meets you and Brian and sees how normal things are between us, what’s left to argue about?”
“I think you’re right,” Brian cuts my answer off. “I had no idea you had it in you, Jen.”
“Thank you, Brian.”
She looks at me and I know I’m outnumbered by them. Although Brian’s motives are definitely not what my Mom thinks they are – he’s just enjoying all of this too much. Still, I can’t help but shrug.
“Okay, Mom. I understand.”
She hugs me. Brian takes it as a sign and leaves us alone.
“So what do you think?” she asks once we part.
“He seems alright.”
I see the relief in her eyes and I know things will be okay.
Robert and Brian are talking when we enter the living room. Unfortunately, the topic is still the same. I appreciate Robert trying to be friendly and wanting to know more about Brian and me, and I can’t blame him for not realizing the shaky ground he’s on. But, well, this is what my mother asked for, isn’t it?
“Six and a half years?” Robert asks and I can just imagine the question that led to that answer.
“Give or take a few,” Brian responds.
“And Justin is...”
“I’m 23,” I declare, knowing what he is wondering about. “And Brian is 35.”
“I’m 49,” Robert laughs, “but that’s not what I was aiming at. I mean, Justin was how old when you met? 16?"
“17,” I shoot back.
Robert looks at my mother.
“Don’t give me that look, Bobby. I didn’t approve back then. Of course he was too young to live with a 29 year old man.”
“He lived with him?”
“There were issues...” I start, unsure of why we are even talking about this in the first place.
“You remember what's it like to be 17 and madly in love and thinking everyone is wrong but you,” Brian says and leaves both me and my mother speechless.
“I'll drink to that,” Robert smiles and raises his glass. I quickly reach for mine and wonder how many Brian has had already. I should have kept count.
“So Brian, how is Gus?”
“He’s fine. I think he’s found a first girlfriend in school, Mary Sue. He is talking about her nonstop.”
“Aw, that is adorable.” My mother looks at Robert. “Gus is Brian’s son.”
Can I blame Robert for being confused?
“Two female friends wanted a kid, I helped out. Long story short,” Brian explains.
“You should meet Gus. He’s such a cute little boy,” my mother continues.
“He’s a spoiled little brat with too much family for his own good,” Brian says, the light tone in his voice indicating he’s not really serious.
“He’s irresistible,” my mother argues.
“I wonder where he got that from,” Brian shoots back.
“How old is he?” Robert wants to know, and Brian and Mom’s simultaneous answer elicits another question: “So your son is as old as your relationship with Justin?”
“He was born the night we met,” I mumble, not sure if anyone is paying attention to me anymore.
Robert does. “It must have be a special night for both of you then.”
“It is,” I say and catch Brian nodding almost imperceptibly.
We eventually stop talking about the saga of Brian and Justin and it’s time to focus on another love story. Robert and my mother tell us some more about the weekend in the country and I really have to hand it to Brian, he behaves. He doesn’t yawn or make snarky comments at them, and he even pretends to be interested.
Robert tells us some more about his job, and I start reflecting about the evening so far. Other than the somewhat weird beginning, I think it’s safe to say it was a success. Robert is a nice and open-minded guy who seems to be madly in love with my mother. My mother looks younger than ever and never once stopped smiling in the last 30 minutes and so. And whoever the guy pretending to be Brian Kinney is, I’ll let him have his way with me later tonight.
“Some people don’t think enough about that. What about you and Justin? Are you prepared?”
I have no idea what Robert is going on about since I was lost in thought, but the mention of my name brings me back. I notice Brian is shifting in his seat.
“Not sure...,” he murmurs and I wonder what threw him off balance.
“Come and see me next week, Brian. We can talk some more about this. Gay couples still don’t get the recognition they should, and surely you want everything to be taken care of, don’t you?”
“Umm, I’ll call you,” Brian says with a hint of finality in his voice. “So. Justin? I think it’s about time to leave the happy couple alone.”
I nod and get up, as does everyone else. Some pleasantries are exchanged. Robert hands Brian a business card and we’re off.
“What was that about?” I ask two hours later. We’re lying in bed, Brian smoking beside me.
“You know. You and Bobby, talking about being prepared and gay couples and such.”
“Oh. That.” Brian stubs the cigarette out and wraps an arm around me. “Financial stuff. He thinks we need a better support system. I think he’s just overly careful.”
“Uh huh. Well, sometimes, you’d better be.”
“Hm. Guess so.”
I close my eyes and think that, yes, my mother is very lucky with the man in her life. Then again, so am I.