The Gravitational Effects of Rotation
Timeline:Post Season Five
The first time they fuck in New York City is just like every other time they've ever fucked, in that oh my god this is better than any other fuck way that seems to be part of what they've become to each other. It's hot and it makes them tingle in every nerve ending, and when Justin comes, his nails leave deep half-moon dents in Brian's wrists, and when Brian comes, it's almost soundless and wrapped so intensely in every straining muscle that his limbs feel like lead weights afterwards.
The thunderstorm that crashes around them, shaking the walls of the 2nd story one-bedroom Justin is renting with his own hard-earned cash, goes largely unnoticed except on a primal level where nature is often felt but not recognized by our button-down, clock-driven sensibilities. Rain pools below the open window in the living room, reflecting light from the streetlamps outside. Later, Justin will throw a towel over the spot to sop up the mess, but it'll leave a ghostly white mark in the wood that will remind Justin every time he sees it of the way Brian shuddered under him, and his sudden expulsion of breath that was really an 'I love you' as he climaxed.
The New York apartments change neighborhoods and grow in size and are finally abandoned. When Brian follows him from city to city with a minimum of complaints, Justin knows that they are taking a chance that one day all the plane rides and movers' fees and house hunts will wear them out and force them to stop. Or force them apart.
It's a risk they accept, like all the risks they've ever leapt into, sometimes with each other and sometimes alone, sometimes with their eyes open, sometimes closed. Risk makes their blood pump and the years that press around them feel like minutes; it makes them scream at each other in rage and rut together like animals. It keeps them alive.
The first time they fuck in San Francisco, it's in a sex club that has historical appeal to Brian (Justin has never heard of The Power Exchange and could care less, an attitude Brian finds baffling) and slightly less fungus on the walls than the clubs in Pittsburgh where they first fucked publicly.
Their vacation had started in Los Angeles, which Justin protested in full princess mode, but Brian insisted on seeing the city that first gave Justin his start. Justin's disdain for the place was quickly overcome, however, when Brian managed to find the one bathhouse that the health department hadn't closed down. He'd fucked Justin against a wall, his dick growing harder and harder the louder Justin had called his name, and then sucked him off in a private room a little later, relishing Justin's fingers tangling his hair into knots.
They'd moved on to Santa Maria, where Brian had once again proved his unparalleled sleuthing skills by finding the lone, sad gay bar in the whole town that had a secret back room. Rimming Justin there had almost made Brian homesick for the crud-encrusted floors of Babylon, but selling the place to Ted the year before had been the right decision and was, in part, what had allowed him the time to take Justin on a fuck-filled three week tour of every seedy queer club along the rugged California coast.
Arriving in San Francisco on a foggy Tuesday afternoon, Brian had by-passed Justin's whiney complaints about being sleepy and needing a nap, and had made a beeline for this, the most famous gay club in the city.
Now, as he has Justin writhing against a thickly padded bench, all eyes are on them. They're the new kids in town, and Brian knew they'd be too hot to ignore. Justin's demands of, 'More, Goddammit,' are almost swallowed by the plush décor, but they catch the interest of a young, muscled leather daddy who comes to stand near Justin and pets his head like he's a beloved pet. When Justin turns into the man's hand, reaching out to stroke his cock, Brian congratulates himself on instilling some history in the boy.
The first time they fuck in Chicago, Justin keeps laughing at what Brian thinks are the most inopportune times, but Justin can't keep the happiness from bubbling out of him. Brian scowls and pinches Justin's waist to make him stop because it almost feels like a negative assessment of his performance. He knows he's exhausted- he was up half the night listening with the phone pressed tightly to his ear as Justin groaned through several hard orgasms, and then he jumped onto the first flight out only a few hours later because the need to feel those groans press into his skin was too overwhelming - but Justin laughing at him is really just too fucking much.
Justin bats Brian's pinching fingers aside, laughing still, but when Brian angles just right, Justin is suddenly coming in a spasm that stiffens his whole body, and his giggles abruptly stop. Then Brian begins to laugh.
They collapse together, stretched out across the mattress on the floor amidst boxes Justin hasn't emptied yet. Brian rolls to the edge and fumbles for the pack of cigarettes in the pocket of his discarded jacket.
"Fucking unpack already, Justin," he grouses as he lights up, but Justin grunts disinterestedly. Brian turns towards him, looking at him with one eyebrow arched, smoke curling around his head from the cigarette hanging off his lip. "Then at least get the fucking bed off the floor. It's gonna be a bitch to climb out of in the middle of the night if I have to take a piss."
"Don't forget to make a path for yourself through the boxes," Justin yawns, pulling the blanket over himself. "I don't wanna wake up to you queening out over a stubbed toe."
Brian lands a stinging spank to Justin's round bottom, causing Justin to shout and squirm away, but Brian knows he's smiling even though his back is turned. He draws on his cigarette, staring up at the ceiling, and listens to Justin drift into a gentle sleep. Finally butting out his smoke, he rolls towards the warmth on the other side of the bed, settles his body close to it, and lets the steady rhythm of Justin's breathing send him to sleep.
The first time they fuck in Denver, Brian scares the fuck out of Justin because the thin air makes him lose his breath and he's in such distress that he can't reassure Justin that he isn't having a heart attack. All he's able to do for several of the longest minutes of Justin's life is wave his hands in what he hopes Justin will understand is a firm no to Justin's repeated questions about chest pains. He sits on the edge of the bed with his head between his knees in an embarrassingly accurate portrayal of a butch top falling to pieces. As he gulps and wheezes and turns red in the face, Justin is barking at him about calling 911, which forces Brian to reach out and snag him by the wrist to hold him still.
"Calm… the fuck… down…" he gasps, and he isn't totally sure if he's speaking to Justin or to himself. He forces himself to slow his breathing, ensuring a steady flow of oxygen into and out of his lungs, and mourns the loss of a perfectly good woody. He wonders if suing the state of Colorado for it's dangerously high altitudes and the subsequent loss of erections it can produce would be a waste of his time, decides he might be overreacting a tad, and then curses again when he notices Justin's equally deflated ardor.
Once his breath finally seems to be coming in something like a normal pattern and the flush has left his shoulders, neck and cheeks, Justin's terrified expression slowly begins to work its way towards smirking amusement. That's when Brian is sure he won't die of asphyxiation. Justin can be a little prick sometimes, but Brian doesn't think he'd be laughing if he really was cashing in his chips. Okay, he hopes not.
"Tell you what," Justin purrs into his ear, making the hair on the back of his neck stand straight up, "we'll try again, only this time, you just lie there nice and still like a good little boy while I fuck the shit out of you. How's that sound?"
"Don't push your luck, Sunshine." But Brian is grinning and knows Justin will most certainly push his luck. Brian is counting on it.
The first time they fuck in Amsterdam, Justin marvels that hearing the guttural language of the Netherlands sifting through their hotel room windows somehow adds to the ambience of their desire.
Brian's insistence that they leave their six-room flat in the heart of gay London and fly over for a long weekend had appealed to Justin, who'd been wandering around in a wearied fog for weeks. The commission that had brought them across the pond, three huge panels of hot-rolled steel that needed to be cut and sculpted into daring and chic "walls" to partition off the bedroom of two rich queers living in a Soho loft was a tremendous departure for Justin.
He'd found the plasma cutter weirdly sexy, and while crawling across the broad expanse of the 13 foot by 3 foot panels for days on end had left him filthy and smelling of heavy metals every night, even Brian had to admit that fucking Justin in that state was indescribably kinky.
The canal city seems to be the perfect backdrop for their inability to keep their hands off one another. They chose it because even with an ancient culture to draw upon, Dutch attitudes are progressive as hell when compared with those of the rest of Europe. Toke can be purchased in even the more discerning coffee shops and sex has its own district where it's celebrated, sold, bought and had within public view. In a strange way, it's almost like being back on Liberty Avenue.
Their vocalizations blend with the street sounds from below and mixed in with all of it are the occasional declarations of love coming mostly from Justin, but occasionally from Brian as well.
They come hard, almost together, but there's nothing unusual about that- their timing has been perfected over many years of determined practice. Later, when Justin teases Brian about how many cities around the world Brian has cried out his love for Justin, Brian will get that smirk he wears when he knows Justin is right but can't admit it.
"Lust, Sunshine, unadulterated, unbridled, youthful lust. I figure that to deprive the world of hearing you whimper out my name on every breath would be monumentally unfair."
"Youthful?" Justin settles his head on the pillow next to Brian's, breathing into his ear. "Dontcha think that's pushing it a little?"
"Give me ten minutes, my little globe trotter, and I'll show you 'pushing it'. Again."
The first time they fuck in Paris, Justin thinks it should be more romantic than it is. He really finds it hard to accept or even believe, but they're nearly too tired to fuck properly, and that's not a state either of them is familiar or comfortable with. In fact, being too tired mentally, physically, and emotionally to fuck Brian Kinney sucks. Badly.
Their layover there only lasts for 12 hours, but it's enough time for Brian to secure a room for them in a small hotel near the airport for a quick shower, a fuck and a nap before they get back on a plane and fly into Antananarivo, Madagascar. They are dovetailing two business trips into one- a consultation with the governmental tourist bureau for Brian, and for Justin, hand drawn pastels of the tropical landscapes to be used in the ads Brian creates.
Brian is pleased to note that the bed in their Paris hotel room takes up most of the tiny room, and while the shower is barely big enough to fit them both, they're too jet-lagged to really care. They rinse off quickly, cursing at the lack of water pressure, their kisses sloppy and perfunctory. Brian would never admit to it, but he's too fucking tired to take the lead, so when Justin nudges him onto his stomach, his protest is weak and they both know it's really just habitual pretense.
The fuck achieves its goal, however, and within minutes they're grunting in release. Justin pulls out and discards the condom, mumbling his complaint about the total lack of sentimentality in the act, here in a city presumed to incite passion and l'amour.
"You said, 'please,' and I rolled over, so there's your passion. Kiss me and we'll call it done with the amour, too." Brian is already yawning and halfway to sleep. "Oh, and set the alarm, we have to be out of here in two hours," he mumbles, already drifting off.
As Justin's heavy eyes close and lead steals through his limbs, pulling him into sleep, he wonders if he should be worried.
The first time they fuck after the last time they break up is in Germany. They're angry and Brian leaves a scratch on Justin's cheek that he regrets almost the minute he puts it there.
When Brian, in a spectacular snit of temper, got in the car hours earlier and drove through southern Denmark, across the border, and on into the city of Hamburg, Justin vowed not to follow him.
The blow-up had been coming for months and while Justin recognized that he was probably in large part responsible for it, he was also fed up with Brian never having come to terms with his own insecurities and jealousies.
The few mostly unremarkable fucks Justin had shared with the new gardener might have flown completely under the radar of Brian's concern if Brian hadn't also been secretly seeing a doctor for a full battery of tests after finding a fibrosis on his remaining testicle. He was tense and edgy, snarking at nothing almost all the time. He had driven Justin to distraction with it.
Though the growth had turned out to be benign, Justin was furious with Brian for hiding it from him. Brian was furious with Justin for not finding it himself while still making time to slip the high hard one to the twink who mowed the grass. Justin blamed Brian for always being too tired to fuck anymore. Brian blamed Justin for dragging their asses all over the world and never settling in one place for more than a few months at a time.
They both agreed, if shouting and throwing plates could be called agreeing, that a break was in order.
When Brian got in the car and started driving south, he had no clear idea of where he was going. Away was as far as his mind, red with fury, could conceive. Away from Justin and his infant lawnboy; away from the long hours Justin spent working while Brian consulted with clients and the unending stream of complaints and worries they inevitably sent his way; away from cancer fears never further from his mind than the next check-up; away from the way the doctor had arched his smug European eyebrow and reminded Brian that a man his age can expect to find all kinds of baffling changes in his body.
'Away', however, had brought him to the one place where Justin could have expected to find him. That he wanted to be followed and found was never something he would admit to, even consciously, and something Justin, if he was smart (and he was) would never mention except perhaps obliquely, months or years later.
They had found the tiny chalet that currently contained Brian's pacing rage in the heart of the quaint town of Hamburg less than a year before, when Justin had insisted they search for the perfect location to try and recapture some of the spark of their earlier days. Even Justin had reached the age where he did not appreciate being reminded that he was growing older. He'd turned 39 a few months before and had thrown a tantrum of biblical proportions over the faint crow's feet in the corners of his eyes. Between Justin's work obligations and the freelance consulting Brian filled his days with, sex had begun to cool between them. Any married couple could have predicted such an event, but Brian and Justin stubbornly refused to think of themselves as married, despite behaving that way on a daily, even hourly, basis.
At first, the almost fairytale quality of Hamburg had been daunting. Brian was still firmly entrenched in high tech design aesthetics, and while Justin found the place charming, that only deepened Brian's mistrust of the gingerbread scrollwork across every structures' façade, the tinny German music tinkling through the air from strategically placed speakers, and the whole Disney-fied atmosphere of a city trying hard to compete for tourist dollars in a tight European market.
Nevertheless, by the end of their trip, they had most certainly rekindled the fire in their relationship. Justin knew, but kept it to himself, that falling in lust with each other all over again had been the key that had brought them, again and again, to shuddering, mind-erasing orgasms. They had spent their final three days barely leaving their suite of rooms, doing sappily romantic things like feeding each other strong German cheeses, taking slow, languorous baths in the huge marble tub, and touching for what seemed like hours, their gazes hardly breaking.
But then once they were back home again in Denmark, routine began to erode the almost giddy quality of what Justin had come to think of as the closest thing they'd ever had to a honeymoon. Responsibilities, time constraints and the sheer press of daily life made it easier to resume their same careless negligence, and before long, they'd let themselves drift apart, again. All of that had helped lead to the screaming battle that had sent Brian fleeing their Denmark manor.
Now, 12 hours later when Justin knocks on the door of the same room they'd shared eight months before, Brian knows it's not zimmerservice. He considers not opening the door, but understands instinctively that his temper tantrum has to end sometime, and a confrontation is not only inevitable, but necessary.
The look on Justin's face when Brian yanks the door open to find him standing in the hallway, the angry resignation settled around his eyes, tells Brian that they have a long night ahead of them. He wishes he could muster more righteous anger, probably deserves to, but he is silently grateful to know that he can still get Justin's attention focused on him long enough to bring him to this place.
He steps aside and lets Justin brush past him into the room, watches as Justin's eyes sweep the walls, the bed, the small fireplace. He knows that Justin is noticing what he noticed: that the room hasn't changed at all since their last visit. Even the bedspread is the same tacky flowered print that was there when they'd fucked on top of it months before.
"You should have told me about the tests," Justin declares softly.
"And you shouldn't have fucked him more than once. He's a baby, for fuck's sake."
Justin turns and suddenly grins. "I was a baby when you first fucked me," he reminds Brian.
Brian is in no mood for games, though, and his eyes never change. "You're not a baby anymore."
Justin sighs and nods, hearing the true pain behind the accusation- 'You want someone younger and prettier than me,'. His face softens and Brian almost gives in.
"I had started to think you didn't want me anymore." Justin's confession hurts them both with it's honesty.
"Right back atcha," Brian says tightly, but despite his anger he finds himself moving suddenly in Justin's direction, and the need in his hands when he reaches out to clutch the back of Justin's head in a painful grip arcs like lightning to a treetop, burning them both with its immediacy and potency.
Brian knocks him to the floor and drops on top of him, shoving the air from Justin's lungs. He hears the surprised grunt, knows that Justin will probably have bruises on his ass tomorrow, but Brian is suddenly harder than he has been in months. He doesn't think about the sick implications of that, and he doesn't dwell on how they haven't communicated anger though sex for years. Instead, he covers Justin mouth with his own, groaning when Justin's tongue slides against his in a violent kiss.
He grapples with Justin's hands, which are already tugging at the zipper of Brian's jeans, pins Justin to the hard floor at his back, bites into his neck in an overt sign of ownership.
"Don't fuck him again, Justin. End it with him now." He knows he's being a jealous fool and that there couldn't possibly be anything real between Justin and the fucking gardener, but the pain in his gut at the thought of Justin leaving him behind snaps and snarls at his better sense.
"Shut up and fuck me, asshole," Justin grinds out, and that is most certainly something Brian feels capable of doing. He twists Justin onto his stomach, shoving his shirt up to his shoulders to expose Justin's pale expanse of back.
"Where's the condom?" Brian knows Justin must have one with him.
"Front watch pocket," Justin grates, and they're the last coherent words they exchange until well after Brian forces an orgasm from Justin, smearing the floor beneath them with spunk, and then fills the condom in his eagerness to lay claim to Justin.
It's while he lays slumped on Justin, as he feels the heaving of Justin's effort to take an unobstructed breath, that he knows it's finally time.
The first time they make love back home in Pittsburgh is also the first time they do it raw.
The 'all clear' comes to them from the lab in Abenra while they're on sabbatical. They will take a year or more off and spend it visiting family and the friends they've made over the years. They've rented out the house in Denmark to a young couple with a small child, and while at first Brian had had a bad case of the shakes thinking about the damage a rugrat could do to their home in their absence, it takes him less than 2 weeks of slowly winding their way home to stop caring. If they don't go back, they'll sell it, like they've sold so many other properties over the years.
One day they may stop moving. One day the allure of the world's many cities may dim, and their need to taste and touch and breathe something new might shift and become, instead, the need to be still. But in the meantime, Justin has stopped taking commissions and Brian has stopped doing consultations, and though Justin continues to sketch in a rapidly-filling pad, and Brian tweaks their portfolio to ensure their continued wealth, neither of them feels a need to rush back to the very things that helped them lose each other and themselves.
The drive to fuck people they didn't even want to know vanished on that terrible night on the floor of a Hamburg hotel suite. In the end, it wasn't about an insecure fear of loss, or the closeness of death, or boredom with the tang of a stranger's skin on the tongue. Finally, ultimately, it was about who they love, and why- and how that still makes them feel like they want more. Always more.
When the call comes on Brian's cell phone, when he's talked to the medical technician and then handed the phone to Justin so he can hear the news of his own tests, when he snaps the device shut finally and their eyes meet, they know that the risk they're about to undertake has little to do with contracting an STD; that it also isn't about the chance that they'll grow bored with one another in 6 months, or 12 or 48.
The greatest risk has always been that they'll choose the safer, more familiar path, repeating again and again the same empty patterns that they used to believe made them independent of one another- and in so doing, forget who they are together.
They've traveled the globe, fucking their way from city to city. In each location, without ever realizing it or meaning to, they've left behind a little trace of the love they carry with them.
And they're not nearly finished. The world is a very big place.