Summary: Ficlet inspired by Give Me Back My Dreams by The 6ths.
I have lain awake through the longest hours,
wondering whether to cry or scream.
You can take my heart; it was always yours,
but give me back my dreams ~ The 6ths
The first time that Justin doesn't call, Brian recognizes it as the inevitable sign he's been waiting for since the first moment the words, "I'm going back to Hollywood," exited Justin's mouth.
He knows that Justin will ring him the next morning, probably at the office, and that Cynthia will patch him through. Justin will throw out some half-assed excuse, knowing that saying too much is more revealing that saying almost nothing at all.
Brian dresses in his newest suit, sliding the pants up his legs, buttoning them over his half-hard cock, and makes plans to make sure he gets laid tonight. He hasn't fucked anyone in a few days and he knows it is because he has been just waiting for this--the sign that Justin is moving on.
The call comes at ten o'clock and Brian picks it up, adjusts his headset, and resignation to the fact that he's lost the best thing in his life is probably evident in his hello.
"Brian? Hey, sorry I didn't call last night. Got hung up with some stuff."
"Not a problem." Brian doesn't add that Justin doesn't owe him anything, much less a phone call. He taps his pen against the desk and breathes in and out. In and out.
Justin, in that sickeningly in-tune way of his, senses that something is wrong. "Hey, you okay? You sound down."
Brian scoffs. "Down? Me? Never, Sunshine. I'm Rainbow Brite. Don't mind me. It's been a crazy day and I'm just busy as a bee."
A few beats and then Justin asks, "Miss me?"
Brian hesitates in his response then decides to be honest. He has nothing to lose. "You know it."
"I miss you. The people here are all so gorgeous, but totally fake, you know?"
"You'd love it though. So many hot guys to fuck, you wouldn't even believe it."
"I hope you're showing them what the Boy Wonder has to offer."
"Ah, a few here and there. I've been pretty busy."
"Hmm." Brian fiddles with his pen, then tosses it away, leans back in his chair and says nothing more. He can feel Justin's agitation building across the country. No doubt Sunshine knows something is wrong.
"Hey, do you think you can come out for a visit?"
Brian takes a deep breath. This is the hard part, resisting the advances that would hold them both back, would keep them dependent on one another. "No. No, I'm too busy."
Justin is silent on the other end of the line, and Brian can hear the soft intake of his breath. This isn't the end of it. "Please? I really miss you, Brian."
"It's better this way, Justin." Brian bites the tip of his tongue in frustration. He knows he's given away too much and Justin will use it against him.
"What? Not seeing each other? For six to eight months? Come on, Brian, how can that be better?" Justin laughs and then rushes on. "What kind of partnership is that? Give me an inch, here."
Brian tries to decide if now is the time to say the words that will end it all, or if tomorrow would be a better choice. Or next week. He makes up his mind before he can second guess himself. "Justin, we can't be partners. No, let me rephrase that. We aren't partners any more."
Justin is silent and Brian can imagine the hurt expression on his face. He sighs and leans forward, elbows on his desk, cradling his head in his hands, and considers disconnecting the line before Justin can try to talk him out of it.
"Oh, fucking bullshit. Get your ass on a plane and come see me."
"I'm not listening to this crap. Get on a plane. Do it now, do it tomorrow, do it this weekend, but fucking do it."
Brian raises his hand to disconnect the call; his finger pauses over the button and he listens to Justin's angry breathing.
"You are such a fucking diva. I go one night without calling and it's over. Whateverthefuck. So, plane. On it. When can I expect you?"
"It's not that you didn't call, Justin. This is just the fucking reality of it. Long distance relationships--"
"Then come out here and tell me the reality of it to my face." Justin snorted. "Long distance non-relationships, you mean?"
Brian takes a deep breath and presses the button to hang up the call.
Deb stands with her hands on her hips staring down at Brian with the he look he always hates the most. It's the "Brian Kinney's a fucking asshole" look, and it usually means that he's hurt Mikey's feelings, or messed with Justin's heart, or some shit like that.
"I'll have you know that you're a motherfucking piece of shit asshole sometimes, Brian."
"And this is news because?"
"Michael told me that you won't return Justin's calls."
"It's over, Deb. The boy has to learn when it's over."
Deb's finger is in his face, threatening the safety of his eyeballs, faster than he can say nine inches cut.
"I think that this boy sitting here in front of me needs to learn when to let his fucking pride and ego go. I think this fucking coward needs to get on a fucking plane and tell Sunshine to his face if it's over. That's what I fucking think." Deb takes a step back, lifts her brows and adds, "Unless you aren't man enough to do it." She leans close and whispers in his ear. "'Cause I think you can't deal with being the big, love-sick pussy that you are."
Brian laughs and turns back to his coffee, pretending that she is full of shit. Pretending that he doesn't want to call and make plane reservations for tonight--no, for right this second.
The plane's seats are uncomfortable as always but Brian spends the entire trip with his forehead pressed to the window, his eyes trained on the ground or clouds below. He keeps his mind blank, because if he starts to think, he's not sure what might happen.
When he gets to L.A. he tells the taxi driver the address that Justin added weeks ago to Brian's palm pilot, demanding letters and care-packages, knowing that he would receive none.
An uncomfortable cab ride, and Justin's apartment is in a nice apartment complex, just the right side of the Valley, covered with bougainvillea vines and flowers galore.
Brian sees two guys making out in front of an open window across the way and smiles to himself as the men stumble and fall out of view. He stands in front of apartment four oh nine for about ten minutes then raises his hand to knock.
"He's not home," a voice says calmly, and Brian turns to see an old queen on the neighboring patio, wrapped in blankets, rocking slowly in an antique two-person glider chair. "He doesn't get home until later. Much later. You the boyfriend?"
Brian shrugs the question off, slides his sunglasses back on. "I guess I'll just be going."
"Came a long way to just turn around and leave, didn't you? Pittsburgh, right?"
Brian looks back at the guy. It figures that Justin would have already made friends. And old perverts always have a thing for blonds anyway. He should know.
Talking with Gary, Brian doesn't hear Justin's footsteps up from the parking lot, and he's unable to prepare himself in advance; he knows his face gives everything away, from the rush of happiness at seeing Justin, to the fear coursing through his body when he remembers how things might be, should be, have to be.
Gary smiles at Justin and pushes away from the seat that he's now sharing with Brian. He holds onto Brian's shoulder as he stands up and says, "Good to meet you. I'm sure you and Golden Boy, here, have a lot to catch up on."
And before Brian can say anything, still stunned from the flush of Justin's cheeks, and the way Justin's hair glitters in the fading sun, Gary has gone inside, leaving the two of them staring at one another across the low divider between the patios.
Justin's palm is warm in his hand and they glide back and forth in silence. Brian thinks about the words he came to say, bullshit about over and distance and time to move on, but he knows that he always knew that he wouldn't be able to say them. He wouldn't have come at all if he truly meant them.
"I have an early day tomorrow," Justin says, softly.
They haven't even kissed, and Brian wants to do a lot more than that, and soon. Justin stands up, pulling on Brian's hand.
Justin's apartment smells strange, not at all like Justin. He wonders how long it would take for the place to smell like Justin's home, wonders if Justin will stay here long enough to find out.
"I didn't know you were coming. You wouldn't take my calls."
Brian drops his one duffle bag on the floor and says, "Nice place."
"If I'd known you were coming, I would've booked a room at the Beverly Hills Hotel, or someplace fabulous. I told you I just got a functional apartment." Justin wrinkles his nose. "I wanted out of Brett's hair."
Brian nods, continues his perusal of the apartment, and when Justin approaches, sliding strong hands around Brian's waist, he pulls him close. He smells the light scent of a new shampoo and holds Justin even tighter.
"I wanted to tell you--" he begins.
Justin pulls back enough to look into Brian's face, his eyes are wary and questioning.
"--I can only stay a few days."
"I also wanted to say that--" Brian clears his throat.
Justin smiles, leans in to kiss Brian's neck, and whispers, "I know. Shut up, okay? I know."
Justin's mouth is hot and spicy from their lunch and Brian doesn't want to let go, but when the announcement is made for his flight, he has no choice. The looks from the curious strangers around them don't phase him, and he presses his forehead to Justin's.
"So, call me when you get back?"
"And remember that I'll be home eventually, right? I mean, this isn't forever."
"You'll never want to leave."
"Then I'll come get you."
"Justin--" Brian knows they don't have time to go into all the reasons he can't leave the Pitts. At least not right now.
"I love you, Brian."
Brian smiles, kisses Justin's lips again, and he almost says it. He keeps it inside though, waiting for this to pass, wishing that just because he didn't say it, that it wasn't true.
The second time Justin doesn't call, Brian stares at the ceiling for hours pondering Jung, symbols, and the collective unconscious, trying to decide if he can trust his gut, or is it all a manifestation of his fears?
When the call comes the next day, Justin heads everything off at the pass by saying, "I'm coming home for a few days. I arranged it with Brett. I can't wait to see you."
"You can't wait to suck me."
Justin laughs. "That too."
When Brian hangs up the phone, he leans back in his office chair, and thinks that he'll let Justin drive for awhile.