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09 May 2006 @ 05:38 am

Chapter 10: Justin’s POV

Getting Brian dressed was like trying to cram a giraffe into sweats. His tall lanky body was suddenly completely inflexible, and he created expletives never heard before as I stuffed him into the clothes I brought over from the hotel. This wasn’t exactly the way I pictured our reunion as the van drove me from the airport to my destination. When I checked in, I decided to beard the lion in his den and immediately let Brian know we were victims of a conniving female plot. I asked the guy behind the desk to leave a message for him and he looked curiously at me.

“Do you know Mr. Kinney?”

“Yeah, why?”

And that’s how I found out what happened. Security went to his room with me to retrieve his sweats. I guess they wanted to make sure I didn’t steal anything else while there. I left my stuff in my room and then took a cab to the hospital with his clothes shoved into my messenger bag. It took me awhile to find his room. No one was anxious to help me, and when I did find it, I walked in on the kindly and patient old doctor who was being harangued by a grumpy and hurting Brian Kinney. Few things are more formidable than a grumpy and hurting Brian Kinney.

The way Brian looked at me, I know he thought he was hallucinating. After outing him to his doctor, and shoehorning him into his sweats, a nurse wheeled him to the front door. I had arranged for a cab and when he resisted my helping him into it, I put a strong hand on his good shoulder before he could even try to stand.

“It’s icy out here, Brian. Slick. You’re hurt. You’re woozy. You can barely move. If you’re going to be a macho asshole the whole time, I’m just going to leave you here in the hospital where they can drug you or restrain you or something. I’m not here to be abused by you because you’re mad at yourself and in pain. Are we clear on the concept?”

He glared up at me and then sighed. “Just help me into the car, Clara Barton.”

Helping him is not that easy. I can’t really put an arm around him, his mid-section is too sore. I can pull on his good arm, but his knee is torqued, so he’s very unsteady. I plant my feet and extend my hand, saying, “You pull yourself up, using me to steady yourself. That might be easier.”

Somehow we get him into the car and he turns as white as the snow, the pain of movement is so excruciating. I have a fresh bottle of Advil, courtesy of the hospital, but he can’t have a dose for another hour. I feel like Shirley MacLaine in that weepy chick flick where Julia Roberts is in such pain and her mother, Shirley, demands drugs for her. Wait, I think I’m combining two different young-girl-dies movies. He says,

“What are you thinking?”

“Whether you’re Julia Roberts or Debra Winger.”

“Swell. You’re mental. When did you go mental?”

I smile. “Forget it. Merry Christmas, by the way.”

“You followed me here?”

“Not exactly. My mother gave me this all-expense paid ski vacation to Banff. Isn’t that a coincidence?” Our eyes meet. He shakes his head.

“That fucking Cynthia. She is so fired.”

“Yeah. Like you can get along without her.”

“What were they thinking?”

“I don’t know, Brian. Who can understand how women think?”

He moans as he leans against the far door. “Are we almost there? My ass is killing me.”

“Now you know how I felt all those years,” I tease him, but the response I get is a glare. He doesn’t have much padding to protect his bruised tail bone. We can’t all have the benefit of my bubble butt. At the hotel, he walks across the lobby in a great, if unintentional, imitation of the mummy meets Frankenstein. I know I sound glib, but I really do feel for him. It’s just that with Brian, the worst thing you can do is to appear overly sympathetic. While they were checking him out of the hospital, I arranged with the hotel to cancel our rooms and give us a single suite with a recliner in the sitting room area. They moved our luggage, so the suite was ready when we arrived.

I fetched a pillow from the bed and used it to soften the leather recliner before guiding him into the chair. I cover him with an afghan from the sofa and light the electric logs in the hearth. He’s so pale. I’m really worried. I put on a good face, though. He’s playing with the incline on the chair, trying to find the least painful position. When he decides on something, I hand him the remote control to the television.

“If you’re settled for the moment, I thought I might take a shower. I feel grungy.”

“Justin, I’m here, I’m fine. I can call room service if I need anything. You don’t have to stay.”

I smile at him. There’s a shocker. Brian Kinney telling me he doesn’t need my help. “I’m staying,” I declare and walk into the bathroom for that shower. Wrapped in a robe, revived, I walk out to find him asleep, the television still off, the remote slipped from his hand to the floor. I take a chance and lean over to kiss his clammy forehead. He stirs but doesn’t wake up. I’m supposed to make sure he isn’t sleeping too deeply for the first twenty-four hours.

I turn on the television, at low volume. Outside, the snow has turned into a blizzard. Couldn’t be on the slopes even if I wanted to be right now. The wind screams at the windows, but we’re safe and warm and…together. How I’ve missed being in the same room with Brian. Glancing at him now, pale and miserable, I still feel a sense of relief that he’s here.

I’m crying through my one-hundredth watching of “White Christmas”, because the scene about “following the old man” always gets to me, when he awakes with a groan. “Jesus X. Christ, get me something for the pain!” he demands and I hand him a banana and three Advil with a bottle of water. He glares at the banana. “When did the pain reducing qualities of bananas become known?”

“They said not to take Advil on an empty stomach. Here, I’ll peel it for you.”

“I’m not eating it,” he downs the green capsules and I shake my head at his stubborn determination.

“Yes, you are, Brian. Do you want the drugs to burn a hole in your gut? Think of it as a nice hard cock and open up.”

He takes the denuded banana from me and deliberately deep throats it, reminding me of his phenomenal technique before he bites off half of it and chews it up. I smile, satisfied, and throw away the peel. “Want to tell me what happened?” I ask as I sit down cross-legged on the rug beside his chair. He stares down at me. He tries to shrug, but his body doesn’t cooperate.

“I was on my fourth run and it started to snow. I guess it obscured my vision because I didn’t see the tree until it was too late. I swerved, so at least I didn’t have a solid impact. At that speed, it would’ve killed me.”


“Stupid. Let’s just say of all the shitty Christmases in my life, this is one of the worst. First the crap with the lesbians and now this.”

“People do care, you know.”


“You said no one cares about you, when you were at the hospital. That’s not true. Besides me, any one of your friends would come here to help you out and so would Debbie or even my mom. Lots of people care about you, Brian. The real issue is your pride. You’d rather shrivel up and die in a dark cave than ask for help.”

“So what’s your point?”

I smile. “Point made. There’s something weird that goes on in your head that makes it so impossible for you to seek any kind of assistance.”

“Redundant. This we know.”

“It’s all about control, Brian. And you have to give up a little control to be in a real relationship, right?”

“I’m not in the mood for this, Dr. Phil.”

“Ok, that’s fair.”

“I have to piss. This should be fun. Will you help me up? See? I asked for help.”

“Sure you want to get up? I could get you a…”

“Just help me up, piss queen. No games today.”

I laugh at his twist of my offer and together we get him on his feet with a lot of swearing and a lot of grimacing. He insists he can make it there on his own, and it takes him a long time to make a short trip. When he comes back, he’s sweating as if he had been running for miles. I help him back into the chair and he drains the rest of the water in the bottle. I get him another. “I need real drugs,” he says and I shake my head as a knock interrupts us. I open it to find an attractive man dressed in ski clothes. He stares at me and then asks,

“Is this Brian Kinney’s room? The desk clerk…”

I sigh. Trick, I suppose. Some cruise from the slopes, from the spa, from somewhere. “He can’t see anyone.”

“Who is it?”

“Brian, it’s Brent.” He walks past me and I see Brian grimace as he focuses on the man. “I heard you were injured. I thought I’d…”

“You jinxed me.”

“How did I jinx you?”

“You predicted it and here I am. Happy? And did you follow me here?”

I watch and listen and don’t like it very much. “Brent” says, “I told you I thought a ski vacation sounded good. Mind if I have a look at you?”

“Yes, I mind. Can you prescribe something stronger than Advil? If so, look as much as you want.”

“Excuse me?” What’s with this looking stuff? Who the hell is he?

“I’m a doctor,” he throws over his shoulder at me as he lifts up Brian’s sweatshirt and gently prods his bandaged ribs. Brian cries out and I say,

“You’re hurting him!”

He ignores me. The man then tortures Brian’s shoulder and his knee and shakes his head. “You’re a mess.”

“Is that your medical opinion?” Brian asks with a snarl as he pulls the afghan over his legs. “So where’s my scrip?”

“You have a head injury, Brian. I can’t give you anything. Maybe tomorrow. You need to force yourself to breathe deeply. If you let the pain of those ribs shorten your breath intake, you’re just asking for pneumonia. Especially since you’re virtually immobile. Coughing your guts up when you have broken ribs is no fun.”

“Breathing is no fun.”

“I’ll make sure he breathes,” I interrupt this little diagnosis. I perch on the arm of Brian’s chair and rest a hand on his forearm. Mine, I want to say. But is he?

“Who are you?” the doctor is all set to dismiss me. Asshole.

“I’m his partner.”

“I thought you said you were single?” he asks Brian, who doesn’t even blink as he says,

“We’re separated.”

I give him a cold stare and the doctor leaves after telling us his room number in case we need him. I’d rather call Dr. Santa. At least he wasn’t after Brian’s bruised ass. “You told him you were single?”

“Don’t start.”

“Is that how you see yourself?”

“You did leave. You do live in another city. We are separated.”

I reach out and smooth his hair, feeling him tense beneath my touch. “I still love you, Brian.”

He stares down at the floor, refusing to look at me. This isn’t going the way I planned. “Do you still love me?” I venture and he finally meets my eyes.

“Yes,” he says and then adds, “But so what? It’s like loving a ghost. You aren’t here.”

Nothing’s changed for him. He hasn’t really made any progress in figuring out what a relationship means to him. He’s just feeling abandoned and angry, now. I fucked it up. I feel sad as I kiss the top of his head. “I’ll get the room service menu. We’ll order some dinner. Did you fuck that guy?”


“Do you plan to fuck him again?”


“He’s hot for you.”

“That’s his problem, not mine. Look, did you really expect me to be celibate?”

“No, Brian. Not at all.”

“Good. I’m not hungry, just order what you want.”

I order a meal for me, soup and crackers for him. If time and distance isn’t the right answer, what is? I’m playing out of my league. I don’t know how to fix anything anymore. I slump onto the sofa, flipping through the channels with aimless misdirection. He calls out to me.

“I’m having a hard time with this, Justin. I won’t lie.”

“So am I.”

We stare across the room at each other, trapped in separate, but equal, hell.
Current Mood: anxiousanxious
connorblondconnorblond on May 9th, 2006 09:54 am (UTC)
Debra Winger or Julia Roberts? - my friend you can be brutal. BWHAHAHA

Apart from that, it's way time Justin got a wake up call. so he thought he could go to New York and Brian would stay home, being all happy and content? Wow, he really is a kid who has lots to learn. I think Season 1-3 Justin would have understood. Season 4/5 Justin somehow lost that understanding, or - and that really bugs me - did he stop caring?
You caught them very well. Liked the chapter a lot.
rand_altrand_alt on May 10th, 2006 08:29 am (UTC)
That was brutal, admitted. thanks connor.
gabe616gabe616 on May 9th, 2006 09:56 am (UTC)
These two need a kick in the butt.
And after that they need a big hug. And next they need to be locked in together until they start really talking.
But hey, they already are locked in together, sort of, aren't they?
This is getting better all the time.
rand_altrand_alt on May 10th, 2006 08:30 am (UTC)
yeah they are now.
bksbracelet: your sancturybksbracelet on May 9th, 2006 10:40 am (UTC)
There cannot be many more difficult things to do than look after a grumpy not in control Brian Kinney. The only person who would ever get close enough is Justin, but of course the two of them have no idea how to do this relationship. I understand Justin needing to get on to some even ground with Brian but that never could happen if he is in another city and Brian is left alone to brood up the wall of no one loving him again. They have come so far in voicing their feelings but Brian's right it is useless if they are not together to nurture it. Relationships are hard work at the best of times but throw in a wonderfully complex, insecure enigmatic man like Brian Kinney and boy do you have to be on your game, but he is so worth it, well done Randall cheers Chris
film102film102 on May 10th, 2006 12:30 am (UTC)
Why do we forgive Brian
and call him a wonderfully complex, insecure, enigmatic man like BK. I wonder sometimes what makes it worth it. Would it be worth it in real life?

Re: Why do we forgive Brian - rand_alt on May 10th, 2006 08:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rand_alt on May 10th, 2006 08:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
Audra: Red Is My Colorrgrandixie on May 9th, 2006 11:04 am (UTC)
I cannot possibly be coherent this early in the morning, but just wanted to let you know how much I'm enjoying this. You really capture both of them so well. It's getting better and better.
rand_altrand_alt on May 10th, 2006 08:31 am (UTC)
thanks and sympathies on the early hour
sixpackokittens: brian crysixpackokittens on May 9th, 2006 11:06 am (UTC)
Your Brian and Justin dialogue was great and felt very real. Wonderful chapter!
rand_altrand_alt on May 10th, 2006 08:32 am (UTC)
thanks and I love that scene with brian that you put in the icon
beth23beth23 on May 9th, 2006 11:21 am (UTC)
This was so achingly painful to read, like Brian's battered body. Their pain so acute and fresh. Incredible job Ran.
rand_altrand_alt on May 10th, 2006 08:32 am (UTC)
hard to write too!
Thymeoasis6028 on May 9th, 2006 12:00 pm (UTC)
"We stare across the room at each other, trapped in separate, but equal, hell."
That says it all. Great chapter.

rand_altrand_alt on May 10th, 2006 08:33 am (UTC)
Re: Hell
thanks gayle
vegamytevegamyte on May 9th, 2006 01:39 pm (UTC)
I liked that you brought Brent back. Great reality check for Justin and catalyst for Brian to make his admission. I feel for them both.
rand_altrand_alt on May 10th, 2006 08:33 am (UTC)
it seemed the right thing to do at the moment
grneyedwomangrneyedwoman on May 9th, 2006 02:03 pm (UTC)
Is this the beginning of actual conversation? Bout time. It's the listening that seems so difficult for these two.
film102film102 on May 10th, 2006 12:32 am (UTC)
Insightful comment. I just hadn't thought of the need for active listening on both their parts. Would go a long way, wouldn't it?

(no subject) - rand_alt on May 10th, 2006 08:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
film102film102 on May 9th, 2006 03:11 pm (UTC)
So narrator's opinion might differ from your own regarding self destruction and Brian Kinney and anything else that happens in the story?



I know. I know. We'll see. Okay. Okay. bwhaahaaa
rand_altrand_alt on May 10th, 2006 08:34 am (UTC)
Re: narrator
no, my opinion may differ from others
Re: narrator - wren_kt7oz on May 10th, 2006 10:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: narrator - film102 on May 11th, 2006 12:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: narrator - rand_alt on May 11th, 2006 08:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: narrator - wren_kt7oz on May 11th, 2006 08:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: narrator - rand_alt on May 12th, 2006 12:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
claudj28claudj28 on May 9th, 2006 03:15 pm (UTC)
This is so painful for both of them... But at least they are together in that room and they have time to talk. Unknown territory, but it will be interesting.

This Doc is getting on my nerves... And I don't know why but it's always Jeffrey who comes to my mind! You've made me way too suspicious, lol!!!

I like it that Brian is still able to joke with Justin. And I love that he's so honest with him about his feelings. Of course Brian hasn't figured out what a relationship means to him, but Justin hasn't either in a way. They've got a long road ahead of them, do they?!
rand_altrand_alt on May 10th, 2006 08:35 am (UTC)
BWAHAAA re jeffrey!! Cant paint all docs with his psycho brush!!!! They do have a ways to go
asm614: JustinAngel1 :: Please ask before using!asm614 on May 9th, 2006 03:32 pm (UTC)
I love that their banter is still there, but it's clear that they still have a lot to work out. I am glad that Brian is being relatively up front, though, about his feelings toward the relationship.

I hope that this is a gentle kick toward the beginning of their healing process. Lovely chapter, Randall :)
rand_altrand_alt on May 10th, 2006 08:36 am (UTC)
thanks and don't kick brian, he hurts!! BWAHAAAA
(Anonymous) on May 9th, 2006 03:59 pm (UTC)
"Nothing’s changed for him. He hasn’t really made any progress in figuring out what a relationship means to him. He’s just feeling abandoned and angry, now. I fucked it up." Ya think? Grrrr. Sorry, feeling frustrated and grumpy as Brian without the major injury pain. These two. I leave them in your capable hands.

rand_altrand_alt on May 10th, 2006 08:36 am (UTC)
I'll handle with care
thumpathumpa on May 9th, 2006 05:50 pm (UTC)
Seems the line of commmunication have been opened!

I don't think Justin was the only one that messed things up though.

cramming a giraffe into sweats

Oooh the imagery!!
film102film102 on May 10th, 2006 12:36 am (UTC)
Oooh, the image!
I had an instant image of a curved 7 foot shoehorn shoving a clumsy and straight in the wrong places Brian into sweats. ROTFL

Hurt a little for him. I had no idea how painful broken ribs are.

Love the doc.

Re: Oooh, the image! - rand_alt on May 10th, 2006 08:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rand_alt on May 10th, 2006 08:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on May 9th, 2006 05:52 pm (UTC)
Very good chapter. You can feel just how frustrated each man is. There's a glimmer of progress, however. Brian admits that he's having a hard time with "this" and Justin realizes he made a mistake. His mistake was exacerbated by Brian's emotional wounds, but I think it would have been a mistake even with someone more secure emotionally. If you break off wedding plans and move to another city without your partner, it's unreasonable to expect him to think he's supposed to be thinking about relationships (instead of assuming it's over) unless you discuss that concept before your departure. Brian has many talents, but mindreading isn't one of them. Justin really shouldn't have been surprised that Brian told the hot doctor he was single.
Ann Marie
film102film102 on May 10th, 2006 12:27 am (UTC)
I see what you mean, AM
From that pov, it makes perfect sense. I was a bit surprised, myself, when Justin said he was his partner.

(no subject) - rand_alt on May 10th, 2006 08:39 am (UTC) (Expand)