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Character(s): Brian Kinney, Justin Taylor, Hunter
Genre: AU, Episode-Related, Timeline: Season 3
Summary: "For any ruffian of the sky..." (AU set in episode 312, just for the hell of it. w/ Hustler!Justin)
Disclaimer: All characters and situations from Queer as Folk are properties of Russell T. Davies, Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman, Showtime, and others. No copyright infringement is intended.
The sleek corvette pulled up to the curb slowly, steadily, like some dark knight’s trusty steed. Hunter felt himself leaning towards it, like it had some kind of magnetic pull, some energy that he couldn’t back away from. Caught in some kind of snare. Hunter realized he could care less... it was cool car, and maybe, just maybe, an easy fifty bucks.
The car stopped right beside him. Hunter peered in the window...
Score! Not just any john.
“Figured you’d come around eventually,” he said. He didn’t even bother to hide his smirk.
Brian Kinney looked back at him, eyebrows raised. “Get in.”
Hunter grinned. “Thought you’d never ask.” He got in the corvette, paused. “Sweet ride.”
Brian said, “Thanks.”
“So, you ready for a big night?” asked Hunter, shifting position. This was strategic, now. This was key. He may not be a pretty face, but he had attitude and willingness for anything, and that was almost as worthwhile. This man seemed like he had to be won over.
If he and Brian Kinney fucked, he thought, he wouldn’t even make Brian pay. It would be purely for fun. The guy was fucking hot.
Brian snorted and turned to him, but whatever he was about to say was interrupted by a dull thud against the side of the car.
Brian cursed. “What the fuck is this?”
This should fulfill his good deed quota for the decade. At least if he got Mikey’s littlest hustler to give him more information on this so-called cop, then Debbie would just get off his fucking back already. The woman had already interrupted him in the middle of an orgy. A very therapeutic, mutually beneficial for all concerned type of orgy. Christ! Let him fuck in peace.
Brian shook his head slightly. He knew a car like this, in a shithole like this, was bound to cause trouble, but he didn’t expect this. There was another hustler pounding on the window next to Hunter yelling something. Some skinny, mange-ridden kid in a thrift store leather jacket.
Before Brian could pull away, Hunter yelped “Shit!” and opened his car door.
What the fuck?
Hunter got out and shoved the other guy back a couple steps. “What the fuck are you doing?” he yelled. “This is my fucking trick, all right?”
The other guy huffed slightly at the shove, and then took a step forward, gesturing with one hand. “I don’t want to steal your fucking trick, Hunter! That’s my dad’s car! Please!” He sounded desperate. Brian glanced in his rearview mirror, and saw a small silver sedan pulling onto the block slowly. They were obviously looking around for someone or something, but that was hardly unusual. There were a couple of kids already starting to yell at the driver, Hey mister how’d you like to...
Hunter glanced to where the other guy was pointing. “Fuck.” He glanced at Brian’s bemused face, then back at the kid, making a quick decision. “Okay. I know this guy here. We’re tight. He can give you a ride. Just don’t fucking impede my action.”
Then he took the kid by the shoulder and shoved him into Brian’s backseat.
“What the fuck are you doing?” said Brian. “This is not a fucking taxi service.”
“No way!” Hunter said. “He can’t go back with his folks. Just drive! Shit, they’re almost here.”
Brian sighed. This was not what he had signed on for. “Buckle up, then.” Giving both brats approximately two seconds to do so, he gunned the accelerator and swung around in a smooth U-turn, then swerving to the right to avoid ramming the other car.
He made sure to glance at the driver on the way past. Thin-faced, receding hairline, sad eyes, mouth clenched tightly. Your average middle-age suburban husband on his way to pick up a piece of boy ass.
“Shit,” said the kid in the backseat. “Shit, shit, shit.” He had this weird tone in his voice, like he was about to cry. It gave Brian a headache.
Hunter shrugged, looked at Brian. “So, where were we?”
Back to business, Brian thought. With one extra.
Keeping one eye on the road, he checked out the bonus hustler in his cramped backseat. The kid looked kind of gray, but he figured it was either nerves or more likely, a thin layer of grime. He was wearing a beat-up leather jacket like you’d find at the Salvation Army, and a worn flannel shirt underneath. The shoulders of the jacket were almost completely ripped through. Ratty jeans, short-cropped hair that looked like it might be brown, or maybe dirty blond. He was facing out the window, probably worrying that his parents, or whoever the fuck they were, were going to give pursuit at any second.
“Tell me what you know about Jason Kemp,” Brian said.
Hunter looked disappointed for a second, like maybe he’d actually expected Brian to fuck him, and then he shrugged. “You gonna pay me?”
Brian shook his head. “What about you, kid?” he said, pitching his voice to the backseat.
The kid started to say something, but Hunter cut in quickly, with “I can show you the bar. Where that cop hangs out. Will you fuck me then?”
“Hunter,” said the kid.
“No,” said Brian. “Then I’ll take you back to your darling aunties. Or the warehouses. Whichever.”
“Shit,” said the kid again. “I know you.” That peculiar sound in his voice again. Brian glanced in his rearview mirror, and the kid was staring at him like he’d seen a ghost.
“You’re Brian Kinney,” the kid said. “I know you. Do you remember me?”
Brian felt his eyebrows raise, and shook his head. “I don’t know. I can’t fucking see you in this light.” Pause. Something familiar. Maybe. “Where do I know you from?”
Hunter glanced from one to the other, but kept his mouth shut. The kid leaned forward, suddenly shaking off his lethargy. “No shit,” he said. “I guess you wouldn’t. We... In front of Babylon, nearly two years ago. Umm. I went home with you. We fucked.”
Brian slammed the brakes suddenly, and chose to blame it on the presence of a nearby stop sign rather than any sort of surprise. How old was this kid? More importantly, what had he been high on? Fuck.
He craned his neck to meet the kid’s eyes, and felt a glimmer of recognition. “You’re –“
“Justin,” said the kid. “My name’s Justin. How’s your son?”
Dead silence. Hunter blinked twice.
“That’s right,” said Brian. “Justin. The virgin. I do remember you.”
Hunter inhaled, gave Justin a look. “You mean. He took your cherry?”
Well well, thought Brian, I didn’t know hustlers could blush.
“Fuck off,” said the kid... Justin. What was it... Justin Taylor? Fuck, that’d been ages ago. The night Gus was born. The kid had named him. The last time he’d seen Justin, he’d sent him packing. Told him, no repeats. I don’t believe in love, I believe in fucking, et cetera.
And now he was a teenage hustler in the backseat of Brian’s ‘vette. What a small world.
“Gus is fine,” said Brian. “I haven’t seen him lately, but he’s starting some expensive daycare program soon. One of those smart kid things.”
Justin grinned, pulled his ratty leather jacket a little tighter. “That’s so cool,” he said. “I’m glad Gus is doing good.” He shrugged. “Um. Wow, this is so weird, seeing you. Y’know, again. Sorry for that whole drama back then, by the way. With the whole ‘falling in love with you’ thing.”
“No, that’s okay,” said Brian, before he could stop himself. “Actually, it was oddly flattering. I mean. After the fact.”
Can anyone say an eleven on the Awkward Moment scale of ten? Deb was going to owe him so much for this one. He started driving again in the sudden silence, still wishing he could get better lighting.
Hunter made an exasperated noise and slumped down in his seat. “Fuck! And the weather’s fucking fantastic, too.” He looked over at Brian. “So you’ve already had him. How about me next?”
“How about you never,” Brian said sweetly.
Hunter glared. “Just because I’m positive -“
“Hey, now.” Brian said. “That’s not –“
Justin made a little gaspy noise. “Shit, Hunter? Why didn’t you tell me?”
Hunter looked uncomfortable. “Because it’s not a big –“
“Fuck that,” Justin said. He paused, like he was considering what to say next and plunging ahead anyway. “I told you that you should use condoms, I told you...”
“Yeah, well, boofuckinghoo you were so right. Fuck you! You don’t tell me what to do. You think you’re so much better than me, because you won’t let guys fuck you in the ass? Because you ... no. Fuck you.”
Brian barely had time to stop the car before Hunter opened the door and took off, fading from sight in a sudden flurry of snow.
“Oh, fuck,” said Justin. “I didn’t mean to... I just. I told him. I kept telling him.” Christ, the kid sounded ripped apart. And Brian was supposed to deal with this how? He was no fucking social worker.
“He’s going to be okay,” said Brian. “My friends... they can take care of him. If he’ll stop being a stubborn ass and let them help.” He twisted in his seat, finally met Justin’s eyes.
They were blue. He hadn’t remembered that.
“Can you show me this bar that Hunter was talking about?” asked Brian. “It’s...”
Maybe he should throw the kid a fucking bone. Get his mind off whatever the fuck was bothering him most. Everyone loves a good mystery, right?
“It’s important, for a friend of mine, that I get information on Jason Kemp’s murder. Afterwards, I can give you a lift.” To where, though. The kid just nodded.
“Yeah, I used to go there sometimes, with the guys. It’s a slime pit.” Justin climbed over the seat into the front, nearly elbowing Brian in the nose. The streetlights illuminated more of his face – Brian thought, with an odd sense of relief, that the kid wasn’t quite as skinny as he’d looked before. Justin gave him some brief directions, and Brian started driving.
Justin was careful to avoid eye contact for the most part, but it seemed more out of politeness than any kind of deference. He looked tough, worn, a little older than Brian remembered him, though part of that could be the short hair. Still way too pretty to be out on the streets, although there was an added irony to that now.
He’d be what, eighteen now? No, more like nineteen.
“How’d you end up hustling?” Brian finally asked. He wasn’t entirely sure he wanted to know the answer. Now that he had placed the face, he kept remembering small fragments of that one night with the boy – Justin’s naivety, his small, pale, child form...
Brian’s dick twitched, and he quickly focused all his attention on the road. It was slippery out, not enough to be dangerous, just enough to make him wonder whether Hunter had found shelter. Oh well, not his problem.
Justin didn’t answer him right away. Then, - “Do you really want to know?” he asked.
“No,” said Brian. “But I figured you should tell me anyway. You used to go to St. James, right?”
“Yeah,” said Justin. “I graduated about a year and a half ago. It’s... a long story.”
“So, talk.” Brian slowed down, made a left turn.
Justin cast a look at his face, then took a deep breath. “Okay. Basically, my father couldn’t …cope well, with me being gay. He tried, he really did, but I got kind of fucked up and we fought a lot. I left, and I’ve been on the street for about a year.” He shuddered, looked out at the snow. “I keep meaning to get a real job, an apartment. I know I could do it if I tried. But it’s kind of scary.”
Brian snorted. “A real job is scarier than hustling?”
Justin shrugged. “In some ways. I don’t just turn tricks. I do odd jobs, I stay at shelters when I get burned out... anyway, living on the street, it’s good for my art. I see things that I wouldn’t, otherwise.”
“Like violence, rape, and murder?” Brian shook his head silently. He couldn’t believe this kid. There was something more there.
Not his problem.
Justin huffed softly. “Yeah. Like that. Pull over, we’re here.”
The bar was a shithole.
Men in various stages of being old and tired. Wrinkled hands. Unblinking eyes. They huddled over their drinks, their shotglasses, ignoring each other. They only looked up at the occasional hustler draping himself in a corner, or over someone’s shoulder. Meat.
Walking into this place with Justin beside him, Brian, for the first time in his life, felt a little bit unclean. They paused just inside the doorway, and Justin pushed him toward an empty table and sat down next to him, leaning in slightly.
“He’s usually over by the bar,” Justin said quietly. “We... all of us told Jason he was bad news. Just this vibe, you know? But Hunter told me that Jason had needed the money.”
Brian glanced over at him. “You weren’t here that night?”
Justin shook his head. “I usually stay away from this place. Hunter and some of the guys still come here, but I didn’t really like it at first... and after Jason, I basically avoid it like the plague.” He looked at Brian strangely. “Jason was pretty, like me. Everyone wanted him. But he still needed the money.”
Justin turned away from Brian’s stare and kept his voice lowered. “Jason wasn’t around very long. He started out a little after me, just as green. The others kinda put up with us, as long as we didn’t steal their tricks. Helped us learn the ropes.” Pause. “Nobody else had the rule except me, and Jason. He wouldn’t let anyone fuck him without a condom. You don’t get as many tricks that way, but if you ever think of moving past this life, it’s something you have to do for yourself. You know?” He turned back to Brian. “But the newspapers said they found semen.”
“They did.” Brian exhaled slowly. So he’d been fucked without a condom, obviously. Rape? A good offer? Or lack of other options? Either way, Dumpster Boy was still dead, but he seemed more real with every passing second. “Okay. Justin. Show me.”
Justin nodded slowly, and took Brian by the elbow and led him over behind a dimly-lit partition. Brian was startled by the touch, but didn’t show it.
“That’s him,” said Justin. “At the very end of the bar. Do you want me to go with you?”
Brian squared his shoulders imperceptibly. “No. Wait here.” And he went.
By the time he got back, Justin had attracted the attention of several patrons. One of them was standing next to him, whispering in Justin’s ear, rank breath teasing his neck. Justin laughed softly, indulgently. Brian stopped dead, oddly annoyed by the sight.
Justin spotted him standing there the next instant, and his demeanor changed. He straightened up from his casual slump against the partition, and smiled. A fucking big grin, like he hadn’t been about to sell himself to a greasy-haired, closeted faggot, and was just really glad to see Brian.
Brian wondered for a second why it had never occurred to him that after all this time the kid might still be in love with him. That night two years ago and the days following were a distant blur to Brian, with moments of clarity enough to tell him that the kid was a pretty sweet fuck. And he had to admit it, a pretty sweet kid, too. Brian hadn’t been able to give Justin what he’d wanted, but he’d assumed the kid would look for it somewhere else, and find it, no matter what the cost. He seemed the type.
“Hey, fuck off,” said Justin easily, pushing the greasy-haired guy off his neck. “I’ve got a better offer.” He turned to Brian. “So, what’d he say?”
Brian smiled slightly despite himself, but sobered. “You ask too many questions.” He jerked his head toward the door. “You wanna get out of here?”
Justin smirked. “Where we headed?”
Brian arched an eyebrow. “No place special. Or... back to my place, if you want a shower and a couch for the night. Least I can do.”
“Sure,” said Justin. “Thanks. But I had something other than your couch in mind.”
“We’ll see,” said Brian. “If you play your cards right.”
Justin shrugged, self-consciously ran a hand over his buzzed head, bounced on his heels slightly. “Think I’ll have that much of a challenge?” he said, his tone nonchalant.
Brian grabbed him by the back of his neck, squeezing slightly. The tendons and vertebrae under his fingers made him think of little bird bones. Justin grinned up at him, utterly unafraid.
“You telling me you aren’t up to it, kid?” Brian said, steering him toward the door. “I’m very disappointed in you.”
Justin laughed, and they pushed through the door to the snow-strewn alley outside.
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