******SPOILER WARNING*******This is about two parallel worlds. One which we know about and another that our Brian has found himself in. There will be a major character death in the other world - actually - there already has been. There is nothing squicky, per se. It's just a dark story. Our boys will still be together in the end and no, they won't be dead but very much alive - this is the best way I can think of to show once and for fucking all how much Brian Kinney wants to be with Justin Taylor. Just trust me but yes, this will get angsty. *******SPOILER WARNING*********
Title: Through a Mirror Darkly
Pairing: Brian/Justin - duh!
Warnings: Character Death but not what you think.
Summary: Takes a strange turn at the end of Episode 217, when Brian goes to tell Justin about his new partnership.
Disclaimers: I don't own Cowlip or the boys and despite what the kids tell me about how the mess got in the living room, I just refuse to believe it was thing 1 and thing 2.
Author's Note: For the purpose of this story - Justin never went on the trip to Vermont since Mikey was a good friend to BOTH Brian and Justin and convinced Justin to stay and wait for Brian.
Chapter 1 Brian comes home from Chicago
Chapter 2 Brian tries to get some answers
Chapter 3 Brian confronts the blond in his loft
Chapter 4 Brian runs into Kip
Chapter 5 Brian learns who Justin is
Chapter 6 Brian and Michael learn more
Chapter 7 Brian gets some answers from Justin
Chapter 8 Brian goes back to the loft
Chapter 9 Brian talks to Lindsay
Brian saw the man as he positioned himself behind Lindsay to see who their visitor was.
"Brian? What do you want?" the man said.
Brian hated front doors.
"Brian...um," Lindsay said nervously, "just wanted to ask me something, Gui, can we have a minute?"
Guillaume made a move to protest but then said, "okay, just remember, we have to leave soon so we can get Gus to school on time."
Lindsay smiled politely and then turned to Brian, her hands on her hips. "What is it you need help with Brian?"
Brian had a million things to say. He wanted to tell her about how ever since he came back from Chicago, nothing has been right. He wanted to tell her about Justin. He wanted to ask if she even knew anyone named Justin. He wanted to ask her where the hell Mel was and why Gui was here in his place. He couldn't think of anything to say so he just said the first thing that came to mind.
"I made partner," Brian said in a rush.
"Good," Lindsay said as she shook her head. "I'm really happy for you Brian," Lindsay continued in a voice that said anything but. She might as well have been saying, 'I have a hangnail,' Brian thought. "So is this part of your new look at the agency?"
Brian ran a hand over the fine shadow that covered the bottom half of his face. Not only had be not showered, he hadn't done any of his normal personal hygiene, which included shaving.
"Look Lindsay, that's not what I came to tell you, I..."
"What Brian? You said you wanted my help? Why now? Huh? Why now?" Lindsay said in exasperation. "I've got my own problems right now, Brian. I don't have time for yours."
As Lindsay was about to close the door on Brian's face, he stepped up and put his hand on the handle, "can I at least see Gus?"
Lindsay scoffed and then glared at Brian. "Why? You haven't really cared about him for the past year. Bye, Brian," Lindsay said as she waved and with that she closed the door.
Brian looked at the door and then stepped around the side to the window facing the living room. Gui and Lindsay were having a heated argument, no doubt courtesy of Brian's impromptu visit. He turned around, and headed down the path that would take him to his Jeep, wondering how on earth things became so fucked up so quickly.
Brian did some mental mathematics concerning what he remembered about the whole 'Gui' incident. He remembered when Gui was taken out of the equation. It was after Brian signed over his parental rights to Lindsay so Mel could become Gus' other mother. It was after that that Mel and Lindsay had gotten back together. All was forgiven as far as the girls were concerned and they were able to play 'dykes with tykes' to their heart's content.
Guillaume was sent packing.
So, Brian thought, what could have changed...
And then he remembered. It was that night that he was sitting on his couch at his loft in the middle of the night, unable to get any sleep, agonizing over what he needed to do to get Gui out of the picture, the girls back on track and Gus with the people he needed to be with, when a sheet wrapped, sleep-dazed Justin came over and lay alongside him.
"Brian," Justin groaned, "I'm the most mature person you know. Think Gus is going to speak French before he speaks English?"
"Why don't you go back to bed?" Brian said.
"Well Lindsay, can't raise him on her own. And as much as you love him, you're never going to be a full-time parent."
"You know, if I wanted the news, I'd watch CNN," Brain said back.
"You can't control everyone's life, even though you'd like to."
Brian grunted. "Obviously. You're still here."
Justin groaned again while keeping his vigil at Brian's side, "Being mean to me has never really worked. You should try another tactic," Justin moaned while kissing Brian's shoulder.
"What're you doing?"
I'm killing you with kindness. It's proven to be a highly effective technique for achieving," another kiss, "one's goals."
It wasn't really the greatest advice anyone could give, Brian had to admit. It didn't suddenly come down from above and say, 'this is what you need to do,' but it did made some sort of crazy sense.
And it was just another way in the long list of things that Justin did or said that helped him to focus and come up with the solution to his problems, whatever they may be.
Everyone else was always busy with their own lives; even Michael at that time was busy trying to figure out how to further develop his relationship with David. Maybe, Brian had thought at the time, that this was why people needed each other, beyond the friendship angle. He had come to the realization that night that it was rather nice having Justin around and he could see why people liked doing that.
And then he had checked to make sure his cock was still there.
It had been.
Soon after he sent Justin to bed, it all clicked into place and he knew what he had to do where his rights over Gus were concerned and how to deal with getting Mel and Lindsay back together, He just knew that if he made this huge gesture (killing them with kindness), there was no other way but for them to get back together and then it was 'au revoir Gui.'
He would also make sure to word it as a bribe.
So he gambled and he had been right.
But apparently without Justin's input, he wouldn't have been able to come up with the idea to do it on his own.
It didn't make sense but the proof was there in the form of Guillaume standing over Lindsay in her own home...and with his son.
And what about Gus? Brian had known that the minute Gui came into the picture, that his own rights would be put in danger. It would have only been a matter of time that somehow, Gui feeling threatened by Brian's presence would have figured out a way to go after those.
And apparently he did, as it seemed he hadn't really visited Gus in over a year.
It was too much to handle all at once.
And he was wishing that Justin were there with him.
And it was then that he remembered that wishing didn't mean shit and that his biggest problem was just that - that he needed to find Justin but that was out of the question until late afternoon, when he could get a hold of Daphne.
Now that Lindsay was out of the question, he needed to re-group with Michael.
So it was with that that Brian headed to the diner, knowing Michael and the gang would be there this morning for breakfast. Maybe Ben would be there and he could see if he knew Daphne or could help in some way. He didn't think he could wait much longer, and Brian didn't think he could deal with any more surprises that the day, just as his night, kept throwing his way.
As he walked into the diner, he caught sight of Debbie balancing three plates and handing them to the men in the booth.
"Hey baby, Michael's not here yet but Ted and Emmett are over there," Debbie said as she pointed at their booth. She stopped as she took in the sight of Brian. "Oh honey, they turn the water off at your loft?" Debbie said with a chuckle.
"No time for anything like that," Brian said off handedly.
And he was right. He seemed to have all the time in the world, but no time at all. He didn't want to sit down. He didn't want to stand in any one place for too long. He didn't want to eat. He didn't want to sleep. He didn't want to shave. He didn't want to make nice with the chit chat.
He just wanted the clock to say 5:00.
After he found Justin, he would do all those things.
"Well hi there Brian," Emmett said. "We saved you a spot," Emmett said as he patted the seat next to him.
Debbie rolled her eyes. "Saved a spot? That fucking spot is reserved!" Debbie said as she patted Emmett on the shoulder.
"I saw Lindsay today," Brian said.
"Oh, baby, why would you do that?" Debbie asked while sitting down across from Brian, Emmett and Ted looking on confused.
Brian chuckled, "I needed help," Brian said and laid back against the booth. "I am so fucked up."
The trio looked at each other with concern.
"Brian?" Debbie asked while putting her hand on Brian's, "what's the matter? Is it Gus? Is he okay?"
"Yeah, he's fine. I mean," Brian started, seeming to be talking to himself, "why shouldn't he be, right? He has the perfect hetero home with a mommy and a daddy," Brian said mockingly.
"Yeah, right, perfect home," Debbie scoffed. "Baby, you can't do this to yourself. There was nothing you could have done to have stopped Lindsay that time. Her and Mel were on the outs and there was nothing..."
"But I did!" Brian shouted as he stood up. "I did do something. If you see Michael, tell him I'm looking for him. I have to go."
"Brian! Sit down. You tell me what's bothering you right now!" Debbie screeched. "You're like a fucking caged animal!"
Brian ran his hand through his hair a few more times and then sat back down. He had no where to go anyway. He was a caged animal, trapped in a cage by a mistake in a time line that he had no control over.
It was then, as he sat down, and looked over to the wall, that he first saw it.
It moved. It was almost imperceptible, but it was there.
Movement. On a wall.
But walls don't move.
"Did you see that?" Brian asked the table, while looking at the wall.
Debbie and Ted looked at each other. Emmett looked up, "see what?"
"The wall...it moved! Like a rolling wave, only really small," Brian said with furrowed brows.
Ted scoffed while Emmett and Debbie rolled their eyes. Debbie then slapped Brian upside the head. "What are you tripping on?"
But it had been there and Brian had known it.
So now, after all this, he was seeing things.
He was most assuredly going crazy, because walls didn't move like that. And trees didn't just disappear, Brian added to himself.
It was then that Michael walked in to the diner.
"Oh, Michael. I need to talk to you," Brian said.
"Good, I need to talk to you too," Michael said angrily. "Where the fuck were you last night? I called you after you took off and then I tried a few times before I finally fell asleep."
"I was...out," Brian said.
"Doing what?" Michael screeched and before Brian could answer, "listen, nevermind, I saw Mysterious Marilyn last night. She was super freaked out after you left Woody's so I followed her. She said some weird shit. But Brian," Michael said while looking directly at Brian, "I think it has something to do with you."
Brian sat and pondered this new information.
Now normally, Brian felt himself a logical, matter-of-fact kid of guy. He didn't believe in mysticism, tarot cards, the after-life or what have you. But because of the strangeness of the events at hand, he knew that something was up and maybe the drag queen could help him. She would at least have some answers.
"What did she say?" Brian asked.
Ted scoffed again, "you're actually asking what she had to say?"
"Teddy," Brian started and then looked at Michael, "go on."
"Well that's just it Brian, she didn't say anything. She was completely freaked and she told me she was a coward and she couldn't say anything else and she ran away."
Brian rubbed his temple. Of course she did. Why would she have any answers. He didn't think he could take much more of this. "Michael, we'll go see Mysterious Marilyn later. Right now, I really want to find Justin."
"Oh God, not this again," Emmett said.
"Who's Justin?" Debbie asked.
"Please, not you too," Brian said.
"Someone you should know apparently," Ted said, "because you nicknamed him 'Sunshine.'"
"Sunshine? Why the fuck would I do that?" Debbie asked confused.
"Because of his smile," Brian said dejectedly. "Look, can we not play twenty questions again? Michael," Brian said as he turned to his best friend, "Daphne goes to Carnegie..."
"Who's Daphne?" Michael asked.
"It's like he has a whole cast of characters made up in his head," Ted said. "So in this made up cast, do I have any beautiful, blond haired, blue eyed boys of my own?" Ted asked while laughing.
"Ohh, how bout a big, beefy top for me!" Emmett sprang up waving his hand.
Brian ignored the chuckles and directed his attention to Michael, who wasn't joining in the laughing. "She's Justin best friend. She goes to Carnegie. You think...I know this is asking a lot....because it's against every privacy law and all, but you think Ben could possibly help?"
"Ben?" Michael asked incredulously.
"I know. I know," Brian said while holding his temple. "It would be going against all the student's rights and blah, blah, blah, but as one friend to another...as the boyfriend of a guy's best friend?" He knew Ben would have a cow about looking into a school directory for Brian, but he was rather taken aback by Michael's reaction. He figured Michael would at least understand.
"Brian," Michael asked in shock, "why on earth would Ben want to help you...or me for that matter?"
"Because he loves you supposedly and you've both gotten really close, and that's the sort of thing people like you two do for each other, right?" Brian asked confused.
"Michael," Debbie started.
"Not now ma! Brian, I don't know what you're talking about but except for one date, that went horribly by the way, Ben and me are not together."
The table became very quiet as everyone stared back at Brian.
Of course, they weren't.
Brian wished the wall would move again so it could swallow him whole.
And at about the same time in that other world...
"Brian, we need to go. I don't want to be late," Justin said as he smiled up at Brian and kissed him on the lips. Justin went over to where the girls were and started to play with Gus who was still in Lindsay's arms. He then looked back at Brian and smiled that thousand watt smile again.
He found that although cheesecake was most definitely very bad for him, he didn't really want to give it up.
Screw the calories.
"So," Brian said as they drove to the diner in the Jeep, "Mel and Linds looked pretty good...happy even.".
"Yeah," Justin said slightly confused. "Brian? What's up?"
"Nothing, just, it sure is a good thing that Gui guy took off, huh?" Brian decided if he was to find out what happened a year ago, Justin would know. He also suspected the kid might have had a hand in it somehow.
He sure hoped the kid hadn't tried to sleep with Guillaume.
"Yeah, of course," Justin said laughing. "I mean, I don't think Mel or Linds would have let him stay. I don't think the girls were into a menage a trois, especially if one of them was a guy," Justin said and laughed again, then he looked back at Brian, "or you," Justin smiled.
"Yeah, me and Mel, I can see that." Brian laughed. "Actually I think I could picture Ted in that equation better than myself."
"Ewwww, Brian, bad mental image," Justin said while sticking his tongue out and scrunching his nose.
Brian thought he could get used to that.
He focused again, "yeah, well, you know, it was close, the way she almost married him. I mean, who would have thought they, Mel and Linds that is, could have gotten past their differences, you know?"
"Yeah, well," Justin said, "giving up your parental rights to Mel like that was a pretty hard thing not to notice. It was sheer brilliance, Brian. Really."
So that was it. He had given up his rights over Gus. It made sense.
And the kid was right. It was brilliant.
Why hadn't he thought ot it?
Oh that's right, because he was too busy thinking about all the other shit going on his life at the time. Kip, Michael and what's-his-name, Jack.
But they were all distractions and he could do the blame game forever but it all pointed back to him.
He never really stopped to think about what would happen to Gus if he didn't do something to get the girls back together. As things turned out, he lost his rights anyway after Lindsay and Gui had married and now the his son, called a stranger 'Da-Da.'
Brian thought about probing more and learning how Brian came up with the idea but decided that it wouldn't be wise at this juncture. He needed to play it a bit more cool.
But brian knew one thing for sure - Justin was the common denominator in everything.
As Brian and Justin walked into the diner, Emmet and Ted were sitting at the usual booth.
"Well, some things never change," Brian smirked.
"Huh?" Justin said.
"Nothing," Brian said and then Justin reached up on his tip toes and planted a kiss on Brian's lips.
"I have to work now. Pick me up at 1:00?"
Brian smiled, "sure thing." Brian watched as Justin went behind the counter and retrieved a clean apron and then walked over to the booth.
"And how was your night, Mr Kinney?" Emmet asked as he was sipping his coffee.
Brian looked over to Justin who smiled back at him. Brian smiled at the guys.
"This I don't need to hear," Ted said and went back to reading his paper.
Michael came running into the diner. He looked toward the booth and saw the guys sitting there. He decided that Brian and him would go to Marilyn's apartment after breakfast. He'd had a terrible night sleeping, thinking about the situation his Brian would find himself in in the other world. They needed to set things right again and they needed to do it right away. "Brian!" Michael looked around nervously and then sat in the booth across from his best friend, or who he thought was his best friend.
"Michael," Brian said.
"Everything okay?" Michael asked nervously.
"Never better," Brian said and smiled while looking at Justin pouring coffee for another customer.
Michael furrowed his brows at Brian knowing exactly what that smile meant.
"We will talk about this later!" Michael said while fuming.
"Talk about what?" Emmett asked.
"Nothing," Michael said.
"No, he 's right. You said we'll talk about this later. What's this?" Ted asked.
"Nothing," Michael said again more angrily.
"Oh, so you'll talk about nothing later? Can't you talk about nothing now, here in front of Emmett and me?" Ted asked.
"Ted!" Michael screeched.
Brian chuckled. "He meant, Einstein, as in it's none of your business," Brian said in Ted's ear.
"Fine, but if it's nothing," Ted continued.
Brian and Michael rolled their eyes. "So we need to go do that thing," Michael said, directing his statement at Brian.
"The thing," Brian said.
"Yeah that thing," Michael stressed, not wanting to alert the guys to where he and Brian would be going. "So hurry up and eat your breakfast so we can go do that thing."
"What thing is that?" Brian asked.
Ted and Emmett watched back and forth as the conversation went from one to the other.
"The thing, Brian. The thing!!" Michael screeched.
"Oooh, could Teddy and I go do the thing too?" Emmett asked.
"No, only me and Brian," Michael said.
Justin walked over at that moment. "What's going on?" he asked as he put his pencil behind his ear.
"Brian and Michael are going to do some...thing," Ted said while waving his hand in the air.
Justin raised an eyebrow. "You're doing a thing with Michael," he asked.
"It's not that kind of thing," Brian smiled back at Justin.
"And he won't let us go with them to do the thing," Emmett pouted.
Justin shook his head, "do you really want to do this thing with them Emmett?"
"No, I just don't want to be left out," Emmett said. "I never get to do anything."
"You and I can go do some thing later, okay?" Ted said to Emmett.
"Yay!" Emmett said with glee while clapping his hands.
Debbie walked over at that moment. "What are you guys going to do?"
"Things," all four said.
"Hey Sunshine, go handle table five," Debbie said.
"Sure thing Deb," Justin said as he walked away.
"Sunshine?" Brian asked. He had heard Ted say that same thing last night but thought it a one-off.
Michael looked over at Brian and shook his head to say, 'drop it.'
Justin finished taking the order and dropped by the table again with Brian's toast. He then smiled.
Brian got it now.
Just then, another party joined the table. "Hello fellow diners!" Ben greeted.
"Ben!" Michael said and shot up out of his seat to kiss Ben on the lips, Debbie scowling as she walked away. "Ben, I can't walk with you this morning, Brian and I have to go,"
"They're doing this thing," Ted said.
"A thing. What kind of thing?" Ben asked in mock seriousness. "That's okay anyway, I have to go to the college. I have a thing going on there too."
Michael kissed Ben again and looked at the taller man with an expectant face. "See you tonight?" Ben asked in his best 'come hither' voice.
Michael looked over at Brian. "I hope so. I really need to see you."
Ben smiled one last time, said "I'll see you later," gave another kiss to Michael, squeezed him and then turned to leave.
Michael waved to him as he was leaving.
"Hey, good luck with the thing," Ted yelled out.
Everyone turned back to the table to look at Brian, who had been staring the whole time.
"Brian, what's up?" Emmett asked, scrunching his eyebrows in confusion.
"Since when," Brian asked incredulously, "have you been dating Ben Bruckner?"
The table became very quiet as everyone stared back at Brian.
You know how I feel about feedback!
You can say anything!!!
Get it? Any-thing?
I thought it was funny....