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27 April 2006 @ 04:49 pm
SILENCE AND TEARS, Chapter 4  


Chapter 4: Justin POV

When I walked into Woody’s, I felt like I did the first time I went there after I got bashed. I no longer belonged. Everyone was staring at me. People whispered. I scanned the room for Brian, even though I knew he wasn’t there. I don’t see any of the old gang, but a couple distant friends greet me. A couple strangers cruise me. Living in New York for even a short period of time has imposed a distance, but I feel much more relaxed here than I do in the few gay bars I’ve visited in my new home base. Maybe it’s just familiarity.

At the bar, I order a beer and my memory slips to a moment when Brian was seated beside me, wearing a sleeveless sweater vest to show off his beautiful arms. He touched my forehead with his. It doesn’t matter why, it doesn’t matter what he said, what was our issue “du jour.” I just remember how it felt when he touched my forehead with his. How sweet that gesture was, and how loving.

I’ve done well up until this minute, being back in Pittsburgh. I had dinner with my mother and Molly, who’s become a little bitch. I don’t know how my mother puts up with her, but then, my mother put up with me when I was a little bitch, too. I saw Brian’s gift, took it to my room, but didn’t open it. Couldn’t open it. That was tough. But I did okay with the rest of the evening, and now I’m here.

Why am I here? Why not. This was home for me, for so long. Woody’s was always welcoming, always friendly. Babylon has so many other memories attached to it, good and bad, but Woody’s is far more emotionally neutral.

“Aren’t you Justin Taylor?” A man sits next to me. He’s hot, but I’m not in the market for company. I don’t recognize him. He smiles. I nod. He extends a hand towards me. I automatically shake it, a victim of good breeding. He says, “Thank you.”

“For what?”

“For kicking Brian Kinney to the curb.”

I draw back from him. “What are you talking about?”

“Are you serious? You’re a hero to a lot of men in Pittsburgh who fell victim to the Brian Kinney hit and run machine. It’s nice to see the tables turned on him. And by someone so young. Good job!”

I stand up, clutching my beer in one fist, wanting to crack the bottle over his head. “I never kicked Brian to the curb or anywhere else. Our relationship is none of your fucking business, but if you think there was a smack-down on Brian, you’re in for a disappointment.” I walk away before he can answer. I sit down at a table, still fuming.

“Look who’s here!” Emmett’s voice intrudes. He’s with someone I don’t know, a cute guy who seems to be hanging on him like a shawl. He kisses my cheek, introduces me to the new boyfriend who gives me a warning glare as he leaves us to get drinks at the bar. As if he has to worry about my macking on Emmett. How sick would that be?

I explain that I’m home for Christmas and Emmett says, “But you missed Brian! He left for Toronto today!”

“I know.” My tone suggests he should leave it there, and he does.

“So tell me about your fancy artist’s loft in Tribeca and all the exciting things you’ve been doing in the city!”

I laugh. Emmett is an exclamation point factory. Everything he says has that kind of emphasis. “I share a fourth floor walk up in East Village with three roommates, Em.”

“Hot?”

“Two are female and the third is straight. Well, all are straight, except me.”

“That’s bad planning.”

I laugh. “It’s all I could afford. I do have a loft, sort of. I work part time at a poster shop on Houston Street and they let me use their attic for my work. It’s unheated and no running water, but it has natural light and space. I need a lot of space to work. It’s not liveable, but it’s great for painting.”

“From the perfect loft on Tremont to a fourth floor walk up and an attic? You are so brave!”

Brave? I shake my head at that. “It’s not about being brave, Emmett. It’s about doing it on my own. I have to do it on my own. You understand that?”

He blinks in such a way that I know he doesn’t get it, but I can’t explain. It makes perfect sense to me. I can’t let Brian bankroll my life in New York, even if he wanted to. It’s not a matter of pride. It’s a matter of doing what’s right. The new boyfriend rejoins us and he even has a fresh bottle of beer for me. He must be fairly new at the gay thing if he doesn’t understand that Emmett and I are on the same side of the ledger. I’m not his competition.

After a drink, they decide to go to Babylon for some fun, but I am totally not in the mood for that, and I'm meeting someone here. I'm curious to see what Brian’s done to the place, but the memory of smoke and blast and bombs is still fresh for me. I don’t want to be there without him.

We stood outside that devastation the first time he told me he loved me. That is, the first time he said the words. He’s told me he loves me in so many ways before then, but I was young and didn’t hear him. The words meant a lot. They still do. I think of that moment every day. The intensity in his eyes, the catch in his voice, the pressure of his strong body against mine.

“Lost in space?” Daphne gives me a Deb smack on the back of my head and I glare at her. I can’t stay mad, though. I’ve missed her.

“You look twelve,” I tease, as I take in her bulky sweater, jeans and those big fur-lined boots that girls swear by. Her hair is in two braids and she’s so tiny that she looks younger than Molly. I shouldn’t tease her. I still get carded everywhere I go.

“So do you, Goldilocks,” she tugs on a string of my hair. I know I need a haircut, but things like food and rent keep interfering with my beauty regimen. We’re going to a Christmas party at one of her friend’s places, something I agreed to in a weak moment. Straight parties are such a drag. But staying home with my mom is even worse. She keeps staring at me like she expects me to open up and tell her everything. It’s not happening.

Only when I take Daphne home after the party and we’re lounging at her place, do we really talk. We’re lying on her bed, on our backs, side by side, sharing a joint and staring up at the water spots on the ceiling. My artistic mind makes shapes out of them. A snowman. A lamb. The head of a lion. “I had lunch with Brian yesterday,” she shoots me in the eye. I turn to look at her.

“And?”

“And?” She shrugs. “And nothing. He gave me these,” she hops up, retrieves a pair of black kid gloves lined in cashmere. “Aren’t they the most elegant gloves you’ve ever seen? I’m afraid to wear them,” she flops down on her side, watching me admire the gloves.

“Why did he give you these?”

“I sent him a box of Godivas.”

I wince. “Brian doesn’t eat junk.”

“Godiva is not junk. I don’t care. I didn’t know what to give him, but I wanted to give him something and this was such a beautiful box all wrapped up with gold ribbons and stars.”

“He probably just re-gifted it to a client.”

“Justin, I don’t care what he does with the candy. It was the thought.”

I nod and hand her the gloves. “It was a nice thought, Daph.”

“What are you giving him?”

“What makes you think I’m giving him anything?”

“I know you.”

“I painted a very small canvas for the bathroom at the loft. He always wanted something for the blank wall. I put some red in it to warm up the dark colors. He’ll like it. But then I find out he’s in Toronto, so I guess I’ll just leave it with my mother to give him.”

“You can’t leave without seeing him.”

“I may not have a choice. I have to get back. I need this part time job so I don’t lose my studio.” I take a toke and then ask, “How did he seem?”

“He’s Brian. He’s always cool, always confident, always gorgeous, always snarky. But there’s something missing under that shell, Justin. Some emptiness in his eyes. When he asked if I heard from you. When he talked about Gus.”

“I know how he feels.”

“Then why are you two apart?”

“Because we have to be, Daphne.”

“Explain.”

“Quit asking me to explain. You’re always asking me to explain.”

“And you never do.”

“And I never will.”

“Why?”

“Because no matter how I try to put it in words, it never sounds right. I know how I feel. I know what’s right, but I can’t make sense of it when I try to explain. Can we change the subject?”

“Are you dating anyone?”

I laugh. “I’m not looking to date anyone.”

“Why not?”

“I’m still in love with Brian.”

“But…”

“Have I tricked with anyone? Yeah. So? He has too. It’s meaningless.”

“This is so fucked up.”

“I know.” I sit up and reach for my jacket. “I guess I’d better go. I’d stay over but my mother would be hurt. She wouldn’t say anything, but I’d know. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. Are you spending it with your folks?”

“Yeah, but I’ll call you. Maybe we can escape and see a movie or something.”

“I’ll be ready for a break,” I pause at her door. “Daphne, thanks for being a friend to Brian.”

“Don’t thank me, you dweeb. I love Brian. More than I love you.”

I grin at her. “You so want to fuck him.”

“And that makes me different in what way?”

“None,” I reply with a shrug. She’s right. They all want to fuck him, male or female. Even some so-called straight males find him pretty irresistible. And doesn’t he know it? I walk out into the cold, and get into my mother’s borrowed car. I plan to go straight home, but some homing signal makes me drive past the loft on Tremont. There’s a low light burning behind the closed drapes, but no one is home. How many men have crossed that threshold since I’ve been gone? Only to be shown the door after they performed their function? It doesn’t matter. None of them matter.

“I don’t believe in love, I believe in fucking,” he told me, standing right there, barefoot and beautiful in his t-shirt and jeans. I cried. He looked wistful. Did he know then, even that early, that there was something different about what he felt for me? I think he did. I think he knew that first night. I think I scared him to death.

“I believe in love, Brian,” I whisper as I put the car into drive and pull away from the loft. “And so do you.”
 
 
Current Mood: melancholymelancholy
 
 
 
vickif on April 27th, 2006 09:33 pm (UTC)
Quit making me cry. I take that back. Keep writing this even if you make me cry. I'm glad Justin told that jerk off. I love Daphne and I'm glad she's still friends with Brian and Justin.
rand_altrand_alt on April 27th, 2006 10:30 pm (UTC)
I dont see Justin putting up with that.
Vivvivrbn on April 27th, 2006 10:04 pm (UTC)
Current Mood: melancholy

You painted the mood beautifully.

I really enjoy these chats between Daph and Justin. She's a good friend.
rand_altrand_alt on April 27th, 2006 10:30 pm (UTC)
yeah, I thought she had a good dynamic with J and even B
bksbracelet: your sancturybksbracelet on April 27th, 2006 10:08 pm (UTC)
Oh Randall I am trying to type this through tears. That was so sad your amazing ability to convey the deep love they have for one another.How they are just functioning and barely existing without each other. Beautiful cheers Chris
rand_altrand_alt on April 27th, 2006 10:31 pm (UTC)
thanks chris
bksbracelet: your sancturybksbracelet on April 27th, 2006 10:08 pm (UTC)
Oh Randall I am trying to type this through tears. That was so sad your amazing ability to convey the deep love they have for one another.How they are just functioning and barely existing without each other. Beautiful cheers Chris
A fanjustinlovesart on April 27th, 2006 10:10 pm (UTC)
Daphne-Justin friendship is love! Could she be the cospirator? She would be perfect: she might look young but she has proved in the past to be smartest of the lot. And the only one Justin feels comfortable opening up to, right now.

Brian's present waiting to be unwrapped. What is it? Justin's painting. Will he give it to Brian? So many questions...I guess I will have to come back for more :)

rand_altrand_alt on April 27th, 2006 10:34 pm (UTC)
ah ha, you've unearthed my scheme.
Bow ties are cool.: Lovedmi_nion on April 27th, 2006 10:21 pm (UTC)
“I don’t believe in love, I believe in fucking,” he told me, standing right there, barefoot and beautiful in his t-shirt and jeans. I cried. He looked wistful. Did he know then, even that early, that there was something different about what he felt for me? I think he did. I think he knew that first night. I think I scared him to death.

“I believe in love, Brian,” I whisper as I put the car into drive and pull away from the loft. “And so do you.”


This is the infuriating part with these two. They love so intensely I think they scare each other.
rand_altrand_alt on April 27th, 2006 10:34 pm (UTC)
yeah. it happens.
Wren: bj_510_justinsreactionwren_kt7oz on April 27th, 2006 10:34 pm (UTC)
I just remember how it felt when he touched my forehead with his. How sweet that gesture was, and how loving.

That gesture has always been one of my touchstones about how much Brian loves him. The only other person he does it with is Mikey. (Yes, I know, erk!) But it's something so deeply personal to Brian that ... it gets me every time.

I'm curious to see what Brian’s done to the place, but the memory of smoke and blast and bombs is still fresh for me. I don’t want to be there without him.

I hadn't thought about that ... about the emotional impact on Justin of those memories. Thanks for that insight, Ran.

I didn’t know what to give him, but I wanted to give him something

God bless Daphne, and all like her - the generous of spirit who aren't afraid to show it.

He looked wistful. Did he know then, even that early, that there was something different about what he felt for me? I think he did. I think he knew that first night. I think I scared him to death.

I think so too. I've always thought so. It's the only explanation I can find for the coach story, for Brian taking him to the hospital instead of kicking him to the curb, and, perhaps more than anything, for that look on his face while he made his tried and true "I believe in fucking speech".

(Oh, and for what is one of my favourite moments in 101, right at the end, when they're at the school and Brian straightens Justin's jacket. It's adorable, and so not Brian with any of his tricks.)

This was so nice, Ran. Heart breakingly sad, but also sweet and, for some reason, hopeful.
rand_altrand_alt on April 27th, 2006 10:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks Wren and I loved that coat straightening thing too as well as you'll see me in your dreams.
(no subject) - wren_kt7oz on April 27th, 2006 10:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rand_alt on April 27th, 2006 10:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
qafaddiction: bj cartoonqafaddiction on April 27th, 2006 11:04 pm (UTC)
It's nice to see that Brian and Justin aren't denying the love they have for each other (at least to themselves), even if they don't necessarily understand where the other is coming from right now. I love the gifts they got each other... well, we don't know what Brian's is, but I have a feeling it's just as special as the painting Justin did for him. I do understand Daphne wanting Justin to explain what happened... she cares about him, and it hurts her to see him in pain over the separation. Maybe she feels like if she understood, she could help make it better, or even ease her own pain at seeing them apart.

While the confrontation by the jerk at Woody's may have been unpleasant for Justin, it could also be a catalyst for change, particularly in the way Justin sees things, or what he will admit to himself.

Despite the pain and the loneliness, there is a layer of hope underneath everything else in this story, and that's going to keep us glued to our seats until these two find their way back to each other. :)

H.
rand_altrand_alt on April 28th, 2006 02:35 am (UTC)
I've always seenh Daphne as a fan of their love affair even through the ethan debacle. Glued to the seat doesn't sound very uncomfortable.
rjwilcorjwilco on April 28th, 2006 12:26 am (UTC)
Ran, I haven't had the heart to watch QAF since the show ended. Because you have a way of bringing these characters to life, I feel as if I've stepped back in time, where we left off last summer.. Only this time with you at the helm, I have faith that it's going to turn out allright. Gracias!
rand_altrand_alt on April 28th, 2006 02:35 am (UTC)
I share that aversion. This is good for me too.
vegamytevegamyte on April 28th, 2006 12:27 am (UTC)
I love the way this story is flowing. It's very sad and graceful...like the parting B&J deserved. The references to the better parts of canon are really nice too. They bring us in.
rand_altrand_alt on April 28th, 2006 02:37 am (UTC)
thanks, I'm just trying to remember the best parts of it and make some sense out of where they are now with that history
Totallyfrelledtotallyfrelled on April 28th, 2006 12:44 am (UTC)
This continues to tug at my heart. It's a truly exquisite story.

I'm glad Daphne's looking out for Brian. She would notice the emptiness in his eyes - and I'm glad she's pointed it out to Justin.
The remembered moments and gestures were heartbreaking and beautiful! You really are an expert at wringing emotions out of us! Keep up the good work!

Thanks for a lovely and poignant end to a shitty day!
Totally Frelled.

rand_altrand_alt on April 28th, 2006 02:39 am (UTC)
sorry your day was shitty. mine too. Maybe this helped both of us, I hope.
Dreambee3: beautiful together - paddiesdreambee3 on April 28th, 2006 01:37 am (UTC)
Lovely: “…The words meant a lot. They still do. I think of that moment every day. The intensity in his eyes, the catch in his voice, the pressure of his strong body against mine.”

And so is this: “…I cried. He looked wistful. Did he know then, even that early, that there was something different about what he felt for me? I think he did. I think he knew that first night. I think I scared him to death.”

You have already brought me out of the pain revisited in the first two chapters, and into the experience of taking the difficult journey with them. That’s something I’m really grateful for, because I can now put those feelings to one side, and participate in their progress through your beautiful writing and sensitive treatment of a painful situation – the psychology of it, the confusion, the tenderness both of raw pain and gentle thoughts, the love in it…….. there’s so much to appreciate. Thankyu…♥
rand_altrand_alt on April 28th, 2006 02:41 am (UTC)
thanks for saying that. I feel it is a progress and it is difficult but maybe it will be good for all of us.
jealin98jealin98 on April 28th, 2006 02:13 am (UTC)
Beautiful Randall. I loved the refernce to Brian and Justin putting their foreheads together, that was something I felt was very personal to them.

I love Daphne, she has always been a good friend to both of them. I understand her wanting to know...everyone wants to.

I am glad that Justin said something to the ass in Woody's, I can't imagine him letting that slip by.

Did he know then, even that early, that there was something different about what he felt for me? I think he did. I think he knew that first night. I think I scared him to death. I believe that too. I think they may both be afraid right now, seeing how they lack in that little area called communicating!!

Very nice one, and I only shed a few tears this time...I am getting better, LOL
rand_altrand_alt on April 28th, 2006 02:42 am (UTC)
good, maybe I'm getting less sad!
Zoe: do you want to touch me there?straberrikyss on April 28th, 2006 02:51 am (UTC)
phew, finally a chapter that didnt make me cry. this was great. i love that daphne is still keeping tabs on brian even with justin gone. and “I believe in love, Brian,” I whisper as I put the car into drive and pull away from the loft. “And so do you.” what a beautiful line.
rand_altrand_alt on April 28th, 2006 02:57 am (UTC)
thanks and I promise not to make you cry all the time
mdlawmdlaw on April 28th, 2006 03:07 am (UTC)
Randall, I love that scene at Woodies; even though that sweater vest is amazingly ugly.
The reason Justin can't put his explanation into words is because it's the stupidest thing ever. Cowlip made him stupid. You can fix that. m
rand_altrand_alt on April 28th, 2006 11:28 am (UTC)
I'm gonna try. I never fixated on the vest. I fixated on the arms
(no subject) - mdlaw on April 28th, 2006 11:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rand_alt on April 28th, 2006 12:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
asm614: JustinAngel1 :: Please ask before using!asm614 on April 28th, 2006 05:47 am (UTC)
Yup, still my hero.

You captured Justin and Daphne perfectly. I loved this.
rand_altrand_alt on April 28th, 2006 11:28 am (UTC)
thanks
mnyclp: armsmnyclp on April 28th, 2006 09:32 am (UTC)
I love Justin and Daphne their friendship is so true. Aww her giving Brian chocolates nice touch. This-->“I believe in love, Brian,” I whisper as I put the car into drive and pull away from the loft. “And so do you.”<----PERFECT!
rand_altrand_alt on April 28th, 2006 11:29 am (UTC)
I love that shot of Gale. So beautiful.
connorblondconnorblond on April 28th, 2006 12:11 pm (UTC)
You are making me cry. And I was in a good mood when I started reading this. But you make it all so real. The emptiness, how they both don't really understand what they are doing, how they both are lost. How Brian is still caught up in maintaining a strong facade, and how Justin does exactly the same. It is so sad. And it makes me cry. What a genius writer you are!
Connor
rand_altrand_alt on April 28th, 2006 12:31 pm (UTC)
thanks connor, but I really think what it is is that I have so much emotion invested in these two fictional characters. I wish I felt as strongly for my own characters.
Thymeoasis6028 on April 28th, 2006 01:39 pm (UTC)
Progression
I really thought this chapter made it clear where Justin stands in this mess. He has reasons for what he did, and so does Brian. That's what C/L failed to fill in. It all seemed so arbitrary at the end of the show. I'm glad you're taking us through this progression hopefully to some decent ending for them both.

Gayle
rand_altrand_alt on April 28th, 2006 02:38 pm (UTC)
Re: Progression
I'm going to try
qafhappy: Calm Strong RandyJustinqafhappy on April 28th, 2006 02:27 pm (UTC)
Ah, Randall! Still making me cry, but at least these tears are falling in a good way. Helps to balance out the bad RL tears...

Must have been a shock for Justin to realize how the outside world views him going to New York. "Kicking Brian to the curb..." I'm sure the realization that Brian has been hearing that susurration was a kick in the stomach. Glad he told him off.

And Daphne hasn't changed a bit - which is a good thing! Love me some Daphne. She's always been one to help clear Justin's head. Let's hope she can work her magic again.

Great chapter, Randall. Can't wait for the next!
rand_altrand_alt on April 28th, 2006 02:39 pm (UTC)
if it helps you in any way, I'm grateful, susan. working on it. advantage of being home sick.
claudj28claudj28 on April 28th, 2006 02:44 pm (UTC)
Okay, you've got me this time - you've made me shed a tear or two on this beautiful day! But it's okay, I love to be moved to tears with written words!

It's interesting that Justin can't explain to others why he (and Brian) are in this situation. Nobody understands them - like us - but I'm really glad that Justin feels that it's right. I don't want him to regret it because so much pain would have been unnesessary (which it is but I hope you know what I mean). Still, it hurts to see him and Brian in so much pain...

Even if Daphne is the only friend they let Justin have, I'm glad it is someone like her. And her telling him that something's missing from Brian's eyes... ouch. She knows her boys so well!

I have to tell you again - thanks for writing Justin like this! You're writing Brian for a long time now and it has been always been perfect, and it's wonderful that (post 513) you can add Justin to that list as well again! But hey - Cael's Justin has been pretty amazing, so you've got a great role model... ;-)
rand_altrand_alt on April 29th, 2006 03:08 am (UTC)
Cael's J is all her own! i can't compete! BWAHAAAA
sandiD: always on my mindsandid on April 29th, 2006 12:00 am (UTC)
Randall, I leave town for twenty four hours and find I've missed two installments.

So glad i found them.

And OMG....the ILY scene in season five crushed me then and thinking about it crushes me now. It was beautiful, wasn't it! Those were the exact looks Brian had. Reading that part of this chapter made me cry all over again. But, happy tears. If I kept anything from season five it was that scene. It was my final.

It was so clear that they loved each other. It is clear now. I'm thrown that they stay apart in order to grow. Don't they know it's possible to grow together and still maintain their identities? I want them to find out.

Love is precious.

They are both in such pain. You can almost taste it. I don't understand Justin. I don't understand Brian. I want to. I need to. Keep helping me, Ran.



rand_altrand_alt on April 29th, 2006 03:09 am (UTC)
I['ll try sandi and I love that scene too.
Deb: rareouldtimesdamietta on April 29th, 2006 01:14 am (UTC)
When I was in college (this is a true story) I was at an after-football party. This old man came through the crowd and walked up to me. He said "do you know the meaning of life"? All my friends and acquaintances howled and teased me asking if this was my date. But, the man had such amazing eyes and stared at me, I said "No."

He said, life is spelled LIFE and it means to Love Intensely Fiercely and Enthusiastically. Then he walked away. I know it was strange, but I've never forgotten that night and although I've not yet found that person to explore that meaning with, I know that is how you are suppose to love.

That's how Brian and Justin love.

Deb
Notincin: (paddies) New creditsreader1 on April 29th, 2006 11:44 pm (UTC)
You've given it back
The loyalty and integrity of the characters that I found so lacking in season 5 is starting to be restored here, Randall, with Justin standing up for Brian as he would, regardless of the status of their relationship. And your Justin and Daphne dynamic is perfect. My excitement for this fic just keeps getting greater and greater. Thanks, hon. Sherrie
Madamsweetmadamblue on May 2nd, 2006 04:42 pm (UTC)
“Because no matter how I try to put it in words, it never sounds right. I know how I feel. I know what’s right, but I can’t make sense of it when I try to explain.

Umm, it DOES sound stupid! And it makes no sense! Both boys suffering for no damn reason really. *grin*

“Are you serious? You’re a hero to a lot of men in Pittsburgh who fell victim to the Brian Kinney hit and run machine. It’s nice to see the tables turned on him. And by someone so young. Good job!”

This guy needs an ass beating! And I cringe thinking that Brian has had to endure this kind of speculation in his domain so to speak.. It just makes this break up or whatever the fuck it is that much more difficult to deal with... Sad! Sad I tell you!

“It’s not about being brave, Emmett. It’s about doing it on my own. I have to do it on my own. You understand that?”

Nope, I don't understand this "need" to do everything on his own. I am sure it has been difficult living in the shadow of the Great Brian Kinney since he was 17 but when you love someone and they love you in return accepting their assistance shouldn't be so difficult. *sigh*

4 chapters in and no Brian and Justin conversations... Seems everyone and their brother gets more "face time" with Brian than Justin does. lol

Lets hope that changes some time soon...

XOXOX
Madam