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Summary: "He catches glimpses of Justin in places he canít possibly be anymore.
Like a reflection of his face in Brianís eyes; or the pale skin of his hand
beneath Brianís roaming fingers."
Author's note: Un-beta'd. Oh wait. Everything I write is. Anyone up for being a beta? Anyway, I only read through this once, so chances are it makes no sense. Just be gentle.
He catches glimpses - like worn photographs or those old silent films he'd watch with his aunt as a child - of Justin in places he can't possibly be anymore. Like a reflection of his face in Brian's eyes; or the pale skin of his hand beneath Brian's roaming fingers.
Emmett often thinks he's crazy.
(But, once in a while, even Teddy notices Brian's fingers rubbing gentle circles on a hand that isn't there)
Sometimes when they're all at Woody's Brian will turn his head to the empty seat beside him expectantly, and after a second or two, turn back to Michael. Emmett never asks why.
He's learning he doesn't have to.
Maybe it was because Michael always seemed busy: Ben and Hunter and the shop. Or it might've been how Teddy found Blake again and Emmett, no matter how hard he tried not to, felt too much like a third wheel than he was comfortable with. So, that's how on a completely random Thursday night, Emmett found himself on Tremont street, ringing the bell and saying: It's me.
"Me who?" the intercom barked.
"It's Emmett, asshole. Let me in."
The door buzzed and Emmett took a deep breath; stepped over the threshold.
He didn't even get a chance to knock - the heavy metal door just slid open (his fist hanging stupidly in the air). Emmett realized vaguely that Brian probably knew the exact amount of seconds it took to get up the lift; after all, how many people have come up and down, in and out of the strange (slightly depraved) world of Brian Kinney?
"What the fuck do you want?"
Emmett bit back the remarks that pressed against the back of his teeth, and said: "Company."
Brian rolled his eyes, pressed his tongue to his cheek in annoyance, and walked away from him.
Conveniently leaving the door open.
It was awkward.
Emmett couldn't ever remember anything ever being as awkward, actually - which sadly made him feel even more awkward. Well, that, and the way Brian was slouched down on the couch, eyes narrowly staring him down, bottle of whiskey clutched in his left hand.
"So, how's work?"
"What the fuck are you doing here?"
So much for conversation.
To relieve the awkwardness that (apparently) only he was feeling, Emmett helped himself to Brian's portable bar - delighted in the fact he found everything needed for a Cosmo - then drank four of them in quick succession.
His head feeling a bit (a lot) lighter, he turned to Brian (whom hadn't moved in ten minutes) and said: You are such a fucking pussy.
And Brian looked at him as if he'd forgotten he was there at all, and said: Yeah, I know.
Emmett sighed and poured himself another drink.
"You have two options, Brian: You can keep pretending you're okay or you can grow some balls and risk everything. I know you have years' worth of experience at the first; but I also know you're pretty damn good at the second."
Why the hell -
"You helped me once - with Teddy - I'm just returning the favor".
Brian is surprisingly talkative when he's drunk - surprisingly vulnerable - and Emmett finds the honesty in those hazel eyes unnerving. He thinks: this is the Brian Michael knows - this is Justin's Brian and for a second he isn't sure if he wants to run or cry.
Brian has his head resting on the coffee table, his eyes closed, that fucking bottle of whiskey clutched empty in his hand; he says: He told me, everyday we get closer to being married, the Brian I know gets further away or some shit like that. He wants someone I can't be anymore.
"You're still the same Brian," Emmett says. "All you have to do is remind him that what he can see so clearly now, is what he was trying to uncover in you all along."
"No. Him and me, Honeycutt, it seems we'll never be on the same page."
Emmett groans and smacks Brian upside the head. "Then start reading faster you asshole."
Emmett sits at Brian's computer desk, playing solitaire and trying like hell to eavesdrop in the most discreet manner possible.
Maybe this was a bad idea.
Brian was stumbling around his bedroom, slurring against the cordless phone: How is it that - why, Justin, when. Fuck me. He collapses on the bed in a heap of groans, and Emmett can just imagine Justin on the other end: slightly annoyed and completely confused.
"Why," Brian starts again, "did you have to leave just when I was ready to love you like - like you were always waiting for me to."
Emmett feels like a voyeur. (Red eight on a black nine)
"I want you to come home."
God, he had no idea - not really. (Deuce on a three)
"I love you."
No more moves; the game is over - and Emmett has a feeling, in their hesitation, they've all lost (some more than others).
When he leaves in the morning (six or seven - all he knows is the sun is up and so bright and welcoming), he closes the heavy metal door as quietly as he can, and uses the stairs.
Brian fell asleep with the phone pressed to his ear; a cold plastic substitute.
Emmett wonders how long Justin stayed on the line for after Brian started to gently snore. He wonders if maybe Justin couldn't bring himself to hang up; couldn't stop wishing he could press his hand to Brian's chest and feel the steady rise and fall of him. Maybe, Emmett wishes, Justin breaks a little more every time Brian calls him - and one day soon he'll be missing enough pieces to come home and find them all again in Brian.
Emmett hopes, at least, because Brian cannot stop touching what isn't there, and Emmett is sure it must be the loneliest feeling in the world.
I'll Be Seeing You (Justin's POV)