|The Plot Ends on a Friday.|
Fandom: Queer as Folk
Summary: It’s easier for Brian to forget, to pretend the entire thing never happened.
Author’s Note: Okay so this happened in twenty minutes because uh, that’s what happens when you watch 513 again I guess haha. Also, I’m going to be leaving to have surgery out of town on the 5th, so if I don’t update before then (I’m aiming to get out one more chapter of Basements before then, but just in case) don’t think I disappeared. I should be around in the next two, three weeks. But anyways, in the meantime. Here’s this.
He thought he was going to be okay. He really, honestly did. It was nothing more than a empty feeling in the pit of his stomach when he first started to hear about it, nothing more than an idea that might not pan out. But then there were the tickets and the booking time, and the forty minutes coming down between them, and the ‘nothing will change’ turned into ‘everything is going to change’, and then Justin was leaving and Brian’s stomach started to hurt more than it ever had.
“I don’t know how to do this.” He’d whisper every morning, staring at himself in the mirror. Eyes too black, mouth too turned down at the corners, skin too white and mind too faded. He’d watch himself move in the mirror, getting dressed in an all too expensive suit and piling fifty dollars worth of product into his hair. Then he’d resume his position, leaning over the sink with both of his hands bracing his body up, and he’d stare at himself, eyes locked on the same brown eyes he’d had since birth. And he’d struggle to smile, to get that patented smirk on his lips before he left his loft, still half packed and waiting to go.
So he’d walk down the street like he always had, and he’d tell Cynthia to get him his regular order of coffee, and he’d bitch out the new art department interns. And after it all, he’d make fun of Mikey and his wallet-sized pictures of JR’s latest Sears Shoot at the diner, and he’d tell Emmett to fuck off when the occasion called for it. Ted wouldn’t be there, because he’d be going over the number books back at Kinnetic. And nothing would be out of the ordinary, because Brian would still be completely put together, and Justin would be where he should.
And it would be okay.
Justin would wake up every morning on a lumpy mattress thrown on the floor with sleep still stuck in his eyes and tears still clogging up his throat. His hands would still be speckled with paint from the night before, and his hair would be too long in some places because he hasn’t had enough time or money to get it cut properly. He can never breathe just right because his chest always feels constricted, and after the first eight months, he knows he should be used to the thick New York air, but he doesn’t stop blaming his ability to breathe on it anyways.
Everyone around him knows, everyone knows that Justin’s lost and stuck in the middle of something he can’t understand yet. But everything’s okay as it is, not too bad but not good either, so nobody says a word.
Brian starts to have dinner with Jennifer Taylor on Tuesdays and Fridays.
“Before he moved in with you that last time, usually he’d come over on Tuesdays to do his laundry.” Jennifer says, staring straight ahead as she sips at her glass of wine. Brian sits on the couch opposite her, in a wrinkled Armani suit with an expressionless face. “After everything came out gray those first two times, I just started doing it for him.”
After that silence hangs in the air and it’s thick, not with tension but with something else. This is where Justin would laugh and shake his head, argue with a, “That’s a lie and you know it – the gray thing only happened once. Once.”
Friday, Brian would think, had always been a good day to him. He met Justin on a Friday five years ago, and he got partner at Vanguard on a Friday. The Prom was on a Saturday, and so was the Rage Party. He found out Justin would fall out of his coma on a Friday, but he found out he had cancer on a Wednesday. Justin left for Hollywood on a Friday, but came back on a Friday, too.
Justin left for New York on a Sunday.
They don’t talk to each other for a long time.
Justin is okay when he’s by himself, and he’s okay in New York. But he can’t hear his mother’s voice without feeling sick, can’t even think about Brian’s without that tightening feeling happening to his throat.
It’s easier for Brian to forget, to pretend the entire thing never happened. That the last five years of his life were merely a plot device to The Brian Kinney Show, and Justin really is someone he can just forget about before he moves on to the next season finale. And he thinks, maybe one day, two weeks or two years from now, he’ll be going to Los Angeles on a business trip, when he runs into this blond at the airport.
The blond will be coming back from New York and he’ll be a little older and a little harder and a little more everything, because two weeks or two years or two decades by yourself makes everyone grow up, at least a little. And they’ll bump into each other, this blond and Brian Kinney, and the blond will laugh and say something like it’s been a long time, and Brian will laugh too but only because he’s starting to remember now.
Brian will still go to Los Angeles because he has a meeting the next morning at six, but when he gets back to Pittsburgh, the blond will be smiling and laughing, and Debbie will be introducing them all over again.
Memories will clear like red trucks going down dusty roads, and Brian will remember the pink red blue lights bouncing off Justin’s hair at Babylon, the way he’d press his mouth right where pale skin covered the side of his neck, and how Justin would laugh and try to finish his conversation with Emmett, words being yelled over the thump thump of the club.
It’ll be easier for Justin to breathe again, and he’ll inhale and exhale just like everyone else, but everything will be better. Everything will be different, and his stomach won’t hurt anymore, and Brian will stop wearing wrinkled suits to work in the morning. The loose strings will be tied a little tighter, and maybe one day Justin will find the forgotten small black box in the back of Brian’s closet, and for one second his chest will tighten and he’ll smile like he should have been doing all those years. He’ll feel a little better, and a little more safe, and Brian will stop staring quite so hard and forget the color of his own eyes because all he’ll see are Justin’s.
The air won’t be so thick, and the loft won’t be so empty, and the Liberty Air tickets won’t be so menacing when they’re sitting on the kitchen counter, because they’ll be return flights from New York back to Pittsburgh at only a week at a time.
Brian will propose again, eventually, and Justin will laugh when he does because this time Brian is actually Brian, snickering and scowling down at him from where he stands, the black box in one hand and the other knotted in his hair as he admits, “I don’t know how to do this.”
But for now, they won’t talk because it hurts too much. Brian will hide the ring box in the back of the closet for Justin to find in five or six years, and he’ll pick his too expensive suit up off of the floor from where he dropped it last night. And he’ll go into the bathroom, and he’ll start it all over again.