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Summary: Dance, Justin, dance!
Word Count: 3,931
Rating: R for language, sexual references
Characters: Justin Taylor, Brian Kinney, Jennifer Taylor
Spoilers: Possible Season Four
Note: This is unbeta'ed. All mistakes are mine!
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters nor am I associated with Queer as Folk, CowLip Productions, Russell T. Davies, or any other.
As I park the ‘Vette in front of the loft that night it’s dinnertime and I’m feeling good. Fuck, I’m feeling great. The bank has approved the loan, the building lease is almost a done deal, I already have three employees onboard, and we are ready to roll. Kinnetik is in business. Damn, Justin is a clever devil. What a great name and now it’s about to become a lot more than that: my very own advertising agency, as exhilarating as it is terrifying. I need to give Justin a big, fat thank you kiss, I’m thinking as I pull on the parking brake. And then, of course, I’ll fuck him into the mattress. The kid does come in handy sometimes, doesn’t he?
But, whoa, one thing at a time because right then I see Jennifer Taylor emerge from her car a few spaces in front of me and grab her briefcase out of the backseat. Earlier, we’d agreed to meet back here at five so I could sign the lease papers. I already have the contractor on speed dial because I want that sucker renovated and ready to open for business in thirty days like they promised although I know it’ll probably take twice as long. Still, once the papers are signed, we’re on our way, it’s real, it’s happening.
I slide out of my seat and lock my own car door, taking a deep breath and actually enjoying the crisp smell of snow in the air as well as the sharp cut of the wind on my face. Let it snow. I don’t give a fuck. I have places to go, things to do. I’m a small business owner now. Everything has changed and the weather being bad … well, that's not going to deter me in the least. I got my mojo back and I don’t intend to lose it again.
As usual, Jennifer looks immaculate. I’ve always thought the woman was a real class act and every time I see her, she proves it. I catch a glimpse of red underneath her full-length coat, watch her blonde hair glint in the streetlight, and admire her black, stiletto-heeled boots. She knows how to dress, she’s smart, and, yeah, she’s even sexy. If I were straight, I’d fuck her. She’s a parent worthy of Justin, that’s for sure, and one who’s coming closer and closer to being my—the expression makes me wince—mother-in-law. “Hi,” I say as she draws near and try not to think about that shit. Okay, so I’m fond of the kid and he’s a lot more to me than some guy I fuck more than once. Does that make us a couple? Shit, no.
“Hey there!” She throws on a huge celebratory smile and I see something I hadn’t noticed. She’s carrying a bottle of champagne. Fuck, it looks like Dom. “Congratulations, Mr. CEO!” She swings it toward me. “I thought we ought to make this official.”
Well, shit, she really is excited about finding a building for Kinnetik. I heft the cold bottle. “Thanks.” It’s nice to be on this woman’s good side for a change. She spent so many years thinking of me as the guy who took her son’s innocence for his own deviant purposes that being the responsible whatever-the-fuck I am is a welcome change. As I punch in the building’s front door code, I’m smiling at her, sharing the excitement because, of course, she had a lot to do with helping me find the place we’ll be leasing. “I can’t believe it’s about to happen,” I say as I hold open the door for her. “I didn’t think we’d ever find a location that worked.”
“It just takes time. That’s something you learn as a realtor.” She sounds smooth, professional, but also warm, and happy. “Did you tell Justin we were coming?” she asks as she pushes the elevator button.
“Yeah, I talked to him a few hours ago.” This whole scene is going to be revoltingly domestic because I asked Jen to stay for dinner, but, shit, I’m in too good a mood to let my normal bastard self prevail. One night that Justin will adore isn’t too steep a price to pay for everything the kid’s done for me. His belief in me alone … fuck, how do you put a price on that? “He said he would order Italian.” When the elevator arrives, I lift up the wooden gate. “That’s you’re favorite, right?”
She nods as we get into the elevator. “Was he excited?”
“Oh, yeah. He’s pushed the idea of me starting my own agency ever since I left Vangard.”
Her eyes shine as she focuses on me. “He believes in you, Brian.” She blinks a couple of times, her mouth drawing up into a smile. “We all do.”
Not even thinking about it, I stand a little taller. Fuck, although I’m not going to admit it to anyone, it feels good to bathe in her admiration. Why? Because it was so hard-fought? Maybe, although I didn’t used to give a shit what anyone thought about me. When did that change? And why doesn’t it disturb me that it did?
The elevator hits the fourth floor and I roll open the gate. Right away, we both hear the music blaring from behind the loft door. It’s Moby, who’s still one of Justin’s favorite singers. “Well, it looks like Justin is already cranking up the party,” I say as I pull out my keys. Our musical tastes are different so it’s not unusual for him to blast the music when I’m not around. I unlock the door, but let Jennifer proceed me.
“Hi,” I hear her say. Then she stops.
As soon as I catch a glimpse of the scene, I stop too. Justin is in the kitchen and the first thing I zero in on is the bottles of booze on my countertop. A few weeks ago, I found a great deal on liquor and was able to restock. It looks like every single bottle is now sitting on the stainless steel along with glasses, seltzer water, lime juice, orange juice, Coke, salt, and a lot of other drink mix ingredients. What the fuck? Is he opening a bar?
The oddest thing, though, the thing that makes the new Tremont Bar only of momentary interest, is Justin.
Justin loves to dance and occasionally, he does so in the loft rather than someplace like Babylon. Shit, I’ve even danced with him here. But this is no dance I’ve ever seen him do, a kind of hopping-arms-out-at-his-sides-hands-wigg
Fuck me. The kid is hammered. In fact, I think he may’ve passed hammered about ten miles back. I give Jennifer a wide, phony smile as the sudden sinking in my stomach becomes a plummet. “Take off your coat and, uh—let’s use the dining room table for the paperwork,” I shout over the music. “Just let me …” I make a motion toward Justin. “He’s … happy, I’m sure, just … very happy.” Backing away from her, I turn and try not to run as I go to Justin’s side. I set the champagne on the counter then move closer to address him.
He raises both arms like he’s in the middle of a church service. Shit! I see the stereo’s remote, grab it, and cut the music. “Justin?” I say again, louder. Shit, this close, I’m not only smelling the JB and rum, but a heady mixture of oranges, limes, and cherries, which are also scattered on the countertop.
He whirls around. “Brian!” His face is flushed, the sweat a fine patina on his skin, his eyes unfocused. “The world’s best Brian!” He flings himself at me, falling into my arms like a tightrope artist without a net. “Congra’lations, world’s best Brian! You did good! You did superfantastic good!” The liquor fumes all but singe the stubble on my chin.
I’m clutching him, but he’s still moving, bouncing like the Energizer Bunny. Shit, just when I get in Jennifer’s good graces we come home to her drunken son who now thinks he’s M.C. Hammer on speed? “You started the celebration without us, Sunshine.” I run my fingers through his smooth hair, feeling the sweat on his scalp. “What are you doing?”
“Gonna get a job too, Brian, a real job!” He comes up onto his toes to throw his arms around my neck. “Two successes, yeah! We’ll be two big-fat-fucking ‘ccesses!”
“And what job is that?” I pause to give Jennifer another phony smile and notice that the glimmer in her blue eyes seems to have dimmed. “Town drunk?”
“Bartender, silly!” He’s leaning his whole weight on me, and, I realize with sudden embarrassment, his groin is rubbing against mine. “Gonna make a shit-load of money, just like you, world’s best Brian.” He closes his eyes. “Hmm, good,” he says as he thrusts his hips forward.
“Uh, Sunshine, you haven’t said hi to your mother,” I say to him and move a little so that we aren’t frotting in front of his mother, though I keep my hands on his waist because I’m afraid his legs will give out. Justin has several stages of inebriation and the one I’m seeing right now is his second-to-last stage, that familiar one known as “not-responsible-for-my-actions.” “Remember, we were all going to eat together, you, me, your mom?”
“Eat!” He says the word like he just discovered it existed. “I ordered Italian, Brian, jus’ like you asked!” He takes a step back, wobbles momentarily, and then holds up a hand, counting with his fingers. “Sp’ghetti ‘n meatballs, lasagna, ravioli, garlic bread, salad—” He throws out his hands in an all-encompassing gesture. “—all of it!”
“Then you mixed yourself ten drinks?”
“Gotta learn, big guy … learn how to be a mix—a mixol—a mixologist,” he manages to spit out. “Whee! I did good!” He turns on that bright smile of his that almost makes me blink. “Got the recipes online. Here, try one.” He reaches for a glass that’s still full.
“Whoa. Not right now. How about you say hello to your mother and I’ll make you some coffee?” And if I had an IV kit, I’d start administering it intravenously. Mixing drinks? And using all my liquor to do so? What the fuck was he thinking?
“Mother? My mother?” He whirls around like he’ll find her hidden in a dark corner of the loft, but spots her when she straightens from her pretend efforts at looking busy. “Mom!” he cries, and staggers off, arms spread wide.
I am so fucked. So, so incredibly fucked. I look around, not sure where to start. Dump the drinks? Make the coffee? Find rope to tie up Justin? Scratching my head, I wonder if I should tell Jennifer it isn’t a good night to visit, which I’m sure she can see. Then I’ll do this in private, and no matter how hard Justin screams I’ll keep him in the shower, cold water running, until he’s dead sober. God, how’d this happen? I know Justin’s been a little depressed since he was suspended from PIFA, but this is way over the line. Was he honestly trying to mix drinks and, in testing them to make sure they were all right, he got wasted? I know what a determined little shit he can be, but this is too much perfection even for me.
“Justin, you don’t have to show me,” I hear Jennifer saying as I turn to get the coffee from the fridge. “I’m sure you can—”
Right then, the music cuts back on.
I jerk around and see Justin dancing for his mother. Oh, my God. Life as I know it could be over. Sure, he’s nineteen, and living his own independent life as an “adult,” but if Jennifer gets pissed at me again, if I’m the one she blames because it’s my loft and my liquor and I somehow let this kid get pickled right up to his eyeballs, then I’m dead meat. She’ll freeze me right off the fuckin’ planet. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Grabbing the stereo remote, I head for Justin, wondering if I can stuff him into the storage space under the bed.
Then I stop and have to watch. Shit, he looks too cute to stuff anywhere even if I’d never admit it. In fact, he looks like Snoopy, the fuckin’ dog that does that asinine dance in the cartoon? It’s so silly that, as he hops and pirouettes and waves his arms around, making little huffing noises as he does, an involuntary smile tugs at my lips. If I could find my camcorder, I’d record it; it’d be blackmail material for years to come. “Sonny Boy, what’re you doing?” I ask, but when I look at Jennifer, expecting her patented frosty death-ray to nail me to the floor, I find her with both hands pressed to her mouth like she’s suppressing a smile. Could she find this amusing?
Justin whirls around to face me. “Dance with me, Brian! Come on, it’s fun!” He bounces to my side, almost tripping over his own feet.
I grab him and try to keep him from vibrating in my arms like a robot without an Off button while I once again cut off the music. Damn, he’s kind of hot right now, all sweaty, his skin with that sheen on it, his eyes sparkling. Tossing the remote on the couch, I stroke his cheek—so soft, so smooth, so compelling. Of course, it wouldn’t be right to fuck him in such a condition, if his mother wasn’t around, I mean. But still … “You need to calm down, okay? You’re a little—”
“Drunk? High? Sloshed?” He springs up to me and plasters his lips against mine. “Come on, best Brian, let’s fu—”
My hand covers his mouth an instant before the word emerges. “Justin, do you need to lay down? To get a chance to catch your breath? To think about the fact that your mother is here?” I give him a little squeeze. “Remember her? Woman who raised you?”
“Just gave her a big hug,” he tells me and throws out his arms to indicate just how big. “Okay? Done. Now let’s fu—”
Shit! I cover his mouth with mine, kissing the word away as I taste the fruitiness of his lips. Then I turn him around and, hands on his shoulders, push him toward the bedroom where I’m thinking rope might really be a viable option. And a gag—definitely a gag. He thinks we’re into foreplay, though, and rubs his ass against my crotch, making the journey both pleasurable and alarming although I’m not sure Jennifer can see that part from her viewpoint.
Well, there are a few positives here, right? For instance, all the years I’ll be excluded from family Christmases and dinners thanks to this, although that might be counterbalanced by the fact that Debbie will still be reaming me out when I’m fifty. “I’m just gonna …” Looking over my shoulder, I lock my gaze with Jennifer’s, gesturing toward the steps unsure what I’m planning on doing. “I’ll be right back.” His head resting against my chest, I pick Justin up so that his toes are dragging against the floor, and haul him toward my destination.
“Sure.” I’m not certain, but it seems like Jennifer might be amused rather than horrified by this. Is that possible?
The front door buzzer sounds and when it does, I loosen my grip without thinking and the next thing I know, Justin is halfway across the room. “Food!” he’s crowing as he weaves a crooked line. “It’s time to eat.” He stabs the intercom. “He-lo-lo-lo food man!” he warbles into the speaker. Then he pushes the button that unlatches the front door, turning to give me a bleary-eyed grin. “Lotsa garlic bread—I told’em lots!” He does a sloppy moonwalk backwards from the intercom, but fails to make it onto his toes when he tries. Humming off-key, he slides open the loft door and goes back to his Snoopylicious rendition of the classic Peanuts shuffle as he waits for the guy to come up.
A minute later Justin confronts a bemused man in his forties who brings with him the tantalizing aroma of garlic, marinara sauce, and oregano. As soon as he sees him, Justin tries to wrestle two tremendous bags out of the guy’s hands. Shit, just what did he order? “That’s all right,” I tell the guy as I fish my wallet out of my coat.
The man lets go of the first bag and Justin almost backpedals into Jennifer who’s decided, apparently, that she’d better help. “Thanks,” she says in her gracious manner to the guy while I stuff a few bills in his hand. God only knows what he thinks of us, two sober adults with a very tipsy teen.
“I know! I’ll serve the drinks,” Justin decides. He hands the white plastic bag to his mother and heads back to the kitchen. “It’ll be good ‘xperience for when I get my job.”
I take the other bag from the guy and close the door, my eyes meeting Jennifer’s. “Where is he getting this idea about a job?” she whispers, and son of a bitch, I can see it clearly now. She is amused by her drunken son. Fuckin’ amused.
Now I know the world must be coming to an end. Jennifer thinks this is funny? Who the hell is this woman? I thought pod people were pure science fiction. “Uh, I’m not sure. We met a guy at Woody’s the other night who has a new restaurant a few streets over, more toward Slater. When he found out Justin worked at the diner, he talked to him about maybe working there. Justin was going to call him. Maybe the guy said something about tending bar although Justin can’t do that until he’s at least twenty-one. Even he ought to know—”
Right then, the unmistakable sound of a cork popping fills the air.
In unison, we turn just in time to see Jennifer’s champagne bottle explode all over Justin in a great foaming shower. “Wooo-weee!” he screams as the pale golden liquid rains down on him, turning up his face to lick at the droplets. It’s also, of course, raining down on my hardwood floor, my stainless countertops, my imported tile backsplash, my … “Motherfuckin’ son of a bitch!” I shout before my brain registered the words. Then I look back at Jennifer. “Oh, shit, I—”
“How about I take care of the food and you corral Justin?” There’s laughter lurking underneath her words, laughter I can distinctly hear. “I think he needs a firm hand right now.”
I can’t help it. “You’re not upset by this?” I ask her all in a rush, astonished at the look on her face. This can’t be happening. She can’t be reversing roles with me and being the tolerant one.
The laughter bursts out of her. “How can I be upset?” She waves a hand at Justin and I see that he’s gone back to dancing, the champagne bottle in one hand as he slips on the wine underneath his feet. “He looks so damn cute!”
I have to grin. He does look cute. Even with his long, blond hair plastered to his forehead and his cargo pants dappled with champagne, his happy dance couldn’t get any happier. He has a little Irish jig/Mexican hat dance combo going and if I don’t move to stop him right now I’m going to be laughing as hard as Jennifer. “Yeah, the little fucker,” I say to her. “He does have a certain charm. Just let me, I don’t know, dunk his head in water or something.” As she continues to laugh, I remove my coat, then throw it so that it lands on my desk and won’t need special dry cleaning because it’s got fucking champagne on it.
I go into the newly christened kitchen to retrieve Justin.
“Brian, Brian, Brian!” he chortles as I draw near, still slipping and sliding. “Did I tell you I made a martini? And a screwdriver? And I made, uh, a rum and Coke.” He leans against me, wet and smelling like a winery. “You know what’s in a rum and Coke, world’s best Brian?” he asks, head against my shoulder, twisted so that he can see me.
I remove the champagne bottle from his hand and clunk it down on the counter. “Let me take a wild guess. Rum. And Coke.”
“You’re a genius! My boyfriend’s a genius!” He grabs hold of my arm, his fingers digging in to give him purchase, and begins to kick out his legs like he’s in a chorus line. “A genius, a genius, my boyfriend’s a genius!” he chants in time to his kicks. “A genius, a genius—”
I don’t even flinch at the B word or the level of silliness into which he’s descended. I will so enjoy teasing him tomorrow and the next day … and the next. No, right now I’m too absorbed in not skidding in wine, in keeping a slippery nineteen-year-old from tumbling to the floor, in not laughing so hard I’ll give myself a hernia. “Off to the showers for you, Snoopy Boy,” I say as I guide him out of the wet kitchen. I kick off my shoes so I don’t trail champagne into the bedroom, then steer him with firm hands. “We’ll be back,” I call to Jennifer. “Don’t wait for us. Just eat.”
Jennifer is laying out the food at the other end of the table, away from the papers. She just shakes her head. “I’ll wait until you and Fred Astaire return,” she says, chuckling. I can’t believe it. Mother Taylor is giving every indication that she’s okay with this, that her baby boy can get plastered in my loft without it turning into a den of iniquity, that I won’t be held responsible in her mother’s-court-of-law for debauching her precious son.
Fuck, I’ve arrived. I really fuckin’ think I’ve arrived. This has the potential to be better than almost anything else in my life.
Except for Justin, of course, although … well, no one needs to know that.
“Okay, thanks,” I manage to say as I haul Justin up the steps.
We make it all the way to the top when Justin decides an encore performance is urgently required. “Ta da!” he says, whirling around at the edge of the stairs to face his mother, brandishing one hand like a performer before he takes an elaborate bow. “And now the Great Justini will perform an extraordinary feat of daring by jumping from this dangerous, harrowing two-step platform to—”
“Oh, no, you don’t, Great Justini,” I say and, without further ado, pick up my drunk-but-adorable lover-partner-what-the-fuck-ever he is and carry him into the bathroom.
“Bye!” Justin calls to him mom as he’s exiting, and he waves. He fuckin’ waves.
Is it any wonder I never had a chance where this kid was concerned?