Spoilers: S3 finale
Summary: So, this morning I was thinking about the fact that Cowlip never gave us the 'partner' scene, and here's how I think it happened.


Justin studied Brian as he stood in the kitchen, wrapped in his blue robe, making coffee. His eyes looked tired and worried; his face was unshaven. Justin wanted to reach out and touch his cheek, say some words of comfort, but instead he pulled a jar of peanut butter out of the cabinet and started on his pb&j sandwich. What could he say? There was a lot on the line, and Brian had every right to be terrified.

It was afternoon and they'd spent the entire morning sleeping, waking up to fuck twice, then drifting off again. The night before had been more of a celebration--with poppers and dancing and rough, excited, bitingly good sex on the floor in the loft. Justin's knees still ached, and he knew if he pulled off the sweatpants, he'd find bruises. In fact, there were bruises on his bare chest, arms, and elbows from the hard floor and Brian's rough hands.

It'd been great. Stockwell had lost, and Brian had been the cause of his downfall. It was a story worthy of a movie--or at least a television movie. Justin could imagine the commercial for it: one young man, trapped in a web of his own creation, working against everything he loves, is called upon to risk it all to save his way of life. It would be terribly, ridiculously awful.

"What are you smirking about?" Brian asked, setting a mug of coffee in front of Justin. "You look entirely too pleased with yourself."

Justin grabbed the jelly from the refrigerator, wrinkling his nose when he saw that Brian had purchased some low-carb shit instead of the regular brand Justin bought, and said, "Oh, I was just thinking about the Rage-like proportions of your heroism."

Brian stood next to Justin, frowning slightly, reaching out to trace his finger along one of the bruises on Justin's arm. "This is--" He moved around Justin's side, running his hand over Justin's back and down his other arm. "You should have told me I was being too rough."

Justin rolled his eyes. "You weren't too rough. I would think that yelling for you to fuck me harder would have clued you in on that." Justin spread the fake jelly-stuff on a slice of low-carb bread, making mental note to go to the grocery store and get some decent food to keep in the loft.

Brian continued to frown at the bruises, and Justin turned away to put the jelly back in the fridge. Brian grabbed him from behind, wrapped his arms around him tightly and pressed kisses along his neck, over his cheek, and up to his temple. Justin closed his eyes, the cold jelly jar in one hand, and the other reaching up to twine into Brian's hair.

Brian's hands smoothed over Justin's belly, slid down into his sweats, then back up and over his chest. Brian released him, and flipped him around, lowering his forehead to Justin's and staring into his eyes. Justin's heart picked pace; he could see Brian's emotions rolling behind the hazel of his irises and he waited for the kiss that he knew was coming.

Instead, Brian gently grasped Justin's biceps and pushed him away, allowing a small distance between their body. "So you won't mind?"

"Won't mind what?"

"That your partner has nothing to his name? No money, no job, and quite possibly no professional reputation."

Justin swallowed thickly. Partner. His partner.

"And no fucking car," Brian sighed, closing his eyes and shaking his head, obviously regretting his decision to let Michael take off with the Corvette.


"My partner," Justin began and his voice was husky with emotion. "My partner still has everything that's important. Intelligence, talent, drive, good looks--"

Brian snorted.

"Perfect looks," Justin amended. "And he has people who love him."

Brian blinked rapidly, and Justin's stomach twisted. "He does?" Brian asked.

"I love you," Justin said softly, quickly adding, "And Lindsay loves you, and Gus. And Michael and Debbie. And even if they don't want to admit it, Emmett and Ted love you, too. And my mom."

"You said you twice."

"Because I love you the most."

Brian nodded, lowered his forehead back to Justin's, murmuring, "Ah."

Justin closed his eyes when Brian pulled him into an embrace. He was still holding the jelly, and he took deep, slow breaths, trying to regulate his still-tripping heart. Partner. He'd said--