Well, the last few days have been exciting! Griffon was in the school musical Beauty and the Beast (it's the musical they put on using the fourth and fifth graders every year) so I've been back and forth getting him ready and taking him to the school for every show (4 total).
He, as well as I, am very glad it's over though.
As usual, the music teacher did a fabulous job with the performance (I have to keep reminding myself that these are 9, 10, and 11 year olds). The only scene I couldn't stop laughing at was when Gaston tried to kill the Beast and Gaston gets killed. It was really hard trying not to laugh at that one. One of the mothers who sat next to me had to wipe the tears from her eyes, she had been laughing so hard.
So, enough with the chit chat - here's my update!!!
******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. Also, I've never seen Bigfoot, but that doesn't mean he doesn't exist.
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
Chapter 10 Brian goes to the diner
Chapter 11 Brian reflects on the situation with Ben
"Darren!" Michael exclaimed as he ran over to the man standing in his bathrobe, "is she sick or something?"
"Marilyn packed her bags late last night. She's gone sweetie."
"Of course she is," Brian said dejectedly.
As Brian drove the Jeep to PIFA, his mind replayed the events that had happened since they left Mysterious Marilyn's apartment after having learned the mystic had took off in the middle of the night. He kept going over the conversation that he had with Michael after driving his best friend back to the comic book store.
"Brian, we need to do something. If something's freaking Mysterious Marilyn enough for her to run like that," Michael said and was then cut off.
"We," Brian said, "are not going to do anything. I have to fix this...whatever it is. We can deal with the other mystical mumbo jumbo later. First I have to find Justin," Brian said as he ran his hand through his hair.
Michael took in a deep breathe and then let it out. "You're really sure about this?"
"Do I look like I'm sure about anything?" Brian yelled as he spread his arms out at his sides.
"You should go to the loft and rest up, Brian. No," Michael said as he grabbed Brian's arm, "you should eat something...fuck! When was the last time you ate?"
"I don't know...yesterday morning, I think," Brian said while scratching his head. "I'm not hungry." Then Brian looked up, "and I'm not going back to the loft."
"I'm really worried about you Brian," Michael said in frustration.
Brian scoffed, "so am I. I can't believe how much has changed, and all for shit!" Brian paced back and forth. He then chuckled to himself.
"What? What could you possibly find funny now?" Michael asked, alarm growing evident in his voice.
"Probably the only good thing that not happened was that I never had the loft broken into," Brian chuckled to himself again.
"Um...Brian...are you talking about the time last year before my birthday party?" Michael asked.
Brian's head shot up. "Yes? You are talking about your thirtieth birthday party, right?" Brian asked, afraid of where this might lead.
Michael rolled his eyes, "well, how many thirtieth birthday parties do you think I had? Yes, the one you nuked when you invited David and Tracy!"
"But, how? Justin wasn't here," Brian asked, his brows furrowed together.
"You've lost me, not that you haven't since you've gotten back but," Michael shook his head clear, "what exactly is that supposed to mean?"
"Did I," Brian asked and then swallowed, "was I the one to not set the alarm?"
"What? Brian, remember, it was the security company. Remember, the inside ring?" Michael looked at his best friend pleadingly. "They were responsible...it was uncovered and you did some digging and found out why the company had to change ownership, don't you...don't you remember?"
"The alarm company? It was," Brian turned around slowly when the full impact of what Michael was saying hit him, ironically enough, like a bat to the head.
He remembered seeing Justin's face as he accused him of not setting the alarm, as he told him to get his stuff and get the fuck out, of him running to New York...
Brian turned and ran for the bathroom, what little that had been in his stomach coming up. When he was done, he straightened himself up and took a good long look at himself in the mirror above the sink. He didn't see the man who's life had been turned upside down since last night but the man who accused a frightened boy of something that he hadn't done. A boy who had no where to go so he did the next best thing. He ran.
And Brian had been the one to do that to him.
Michael entered the bathroom and stood behind Brian who was still gazing into the mirror. "What was it you said, Mikey, I'll always be young and I'll always be beautiful. I don't see that right now. I don't like what I see." Brian spun around quickly to face Michael. "I need to go," Brian said matter-of-factly.
"Brian," Michael started then stopped. "Call me, okay?"
Brian pulled into the student parking lot of the Art Institute and parked the Jeep, noticing quickly how deserted the parking lot looked and that's when he remembered.
It was Justin's school break. Even if Justin were still attending this school, he wouldn't be here as this would be his week off. Brian then cursed the fact that Carnegie Mellon was on a different schedule because then maybe Daphne would be home right now instead of in classes and he wouldn't have to be going through this.
Then he thought better of it and realized if Daphne were on vacation right now, with his current run of luck, she'd probably be somewhere like Greenland.
Brian exited his Jeep and decided to go in anyway; he noticed there were a few cars parked and that the doors to the buildings must be unlocked so maybe he could explore the halls and just see what he could find. As he told Michael before, it was a long shot but he needed to do something.
He just couldn't go back to the loft. It was so empty, so devoid of life.
Sure, Justin wasn't always at the loft, but this was different. It was different because he wouldn't be coming home this time. Unless he went and retrieved him from wherever he was.
Brian shook his head clear, tried one of the doors on the first building he came to, found it unlocked and entered. Maybe if he found the admissions office, he could sweet talk the lady behind the counter and see what he could come up with, but then thought differently when he saw how dark the hallways were. There were a few closed doors but quite a few were opened. Brian walked slowly down the hallway, trying to figure out exactly what kind of clue it was he was looking for, to locate a kid who might or might not be attending the school.
Shit, Brian thought. Was Justin able to even go here? His father was pretty pissed off at him for wanting to go to the Institute. Was that what had happened? Did he end up going to Dartmouth? He knew Justin's dad complained about the tuition but since it looked like his parents were still together, did he acquiesce and let him go to art school after all?
Too many variables were running through Brian's head and he started to feel a bit dizzy and befuddled from all the possibilities that Justin's life could have taken without Brian's influence.
Just as Justin had had a hand in influencing everyone around him, Brian was positively sure that he had a hand in Justin deciding on the art school over the ivy league university.
Brian was always so busy making sure no one was influencing his life or him theirs, that he failed to notice how while he was doing all this, life was doing it anyways. What was it John Donne had once said - 'no man is an island.' Brian was beginning to think he truly understood that statement.
Brian continued walking down the long halls, an opened door here and there illuminating an otherwise dark hallway and that's when he saw it...again. This time he was not imagining it; he knew without a doubt, he was not seeing things. When he had been at the diner, he thought maybe, possibly that his eyes were playing tricks on him, his lack of sleep and nourishment finally getting the better of him.
But this time it was real.
Like, the whole wall was moving in a large wave.
And it was heading directly for him.
Brian stood and stared at the wall until his brain caught up with what it was seeing and sent a message which said RUN. Brian turned and started to run down the hallway, wanting to distance himself from whatever it was that was following him, knowing that walls didn't move but it seemed as if this one did and was searching him out.
He kept running and running, then came to a bend in the hall and took a sharp right. He then stopped and against his better judgment, turned around, expecting the wall to leap out at him, embrace him in its grip but there was...
Nothing. He then peeked around the corner again and sure enough, the wall was immobile.
Like all good walls should be.
Brian stood in the middle of the hallway staring at the walls around him, his heart racing and knowing it was not from the overexertion of running that short distance. It was when he finally got his breathing under control that he heard it. It was faint but it was there but he couldn't place why it sounded so familiar. Brian moved toward the sound, getting closer and closer as it started to become more pronounced.
It was music.
And he was sure he had heard that piece before. As he got closer to the sound, he immediately recognized the music.
It was violin music. And the piece he would know because Justin had been playing that song over and over again ever since he had come back from the violin recital that Mel and Linds had taken him to on his birthday.
Brian walked up to the door and peered inside. It was the guy from the park, the one who played his violin. Brian entered the classroom.
The man stopped playing. "Can I help you?" he asked as the man took a sip of something that was piping hot in his tea cup.
Brian, in his addled state, not really knowing if this was some kind of cosmic joke decided to plunge ahead anyway. "You play the violin."
The dark haired man looked down at his instrument and laughed. "What was your first clue?"
Brian pointed behind him. "Did you see the walls back there? Did they move in here as well?"
The man leaned over conspiratorially and said with a grin, "well, I always want people to be moved by my music, but I don't think the walls would be." The man then laughed at his own joke.
Brian laughed back half heartedly.
The dark haired man extended his hand to Brian, "I'm Ethan by the way...Ethan Gold."
Meanwhile, in the other place
"Marilyn isn't here right now," the man said and with that Brian and Michael jumped back in shock.
Despite the lower octave, the voice was unmistakable.
"Marilyn?" Michael asked while swallowing, "is that you?"
"Marilyn, what happened?" Michael asked as he walked closer to the tall man.
"Marilyn's not here," the man sing songed. "Only Bob." The man stopped and looked up at Brian. "They came last night you know. They're not happy."
The man turned around and walked over to one of the walls and continued to write in that same strange language.
"Bob?" Michael said, "what does it say?"
"It's my penance," said the man.
"Fuck this cryptic shit. What do you know," Brian yelled, "Bob?" Brian added mockingly.
Bob stopped what he was doing and turned toward Brian. "I can't talk anymore about this. I've already talked too much." Bob turned back to his writing.
"Please, what do you know," Michael asked as he put his hand on 'Bob's' shoulder.
Bob halted in his writing but continued staring at the walls, "They don't know how you got here but they're very mad." Bob stopped and regarded Brian. "You shouldn't fuck," Bob yelled, "with the Guardians. They're very, very mad. They'll never let you cross back now. I shouldn't be talking to you." Bob continued to write.
Brian rolled his eyes, "for someone who isn't supposed to be talking, he certainly is the little chatterbox.".
"Brian, shut up," Michael hushed. "Bob, we need to set this right," Michael said, trying to calm the man down.
"Can't," Bob shook his head and continued writing, stopping to lean into the walls. "I don't hear them right now."
"Oh God," Brian said and sighed. "We're not getting anywhere here...let's go Mikey."
"Can't cross over, I don't know what to do," Bob sing songed, "you'll have to go to the old lady who lives in a shoe. The old lady who lives in a shoe will know what to do," Bob continued to sing song.
"Oh this is good," Brian said in exasperation, "he's channeling Dr Seuss. Let's go Michael."
"We can't leave her here," Michael said.
"We'll call someone," Brian said and turned to leave.
"Who?" Michael yelled.
"I have absolutely no answer to that question," Brian said.
Michael looked back at 'Bob,' knew his best friend was right and then walked out the door with Brian.
As they climbed into the Jeep, Brian put his sunglasses back on. "Well that was productive."
"We need to look for the old lady who lives in a shoe," Michael said brusquely.
"Did you hear what you just said," Brian laughed, "and out loud?"
"Brian, this is important. We need to set the balance right, or whatever it is."
"Did you just see her...him? That was a perfectly sane, perfectly normal, okay well not normal, human being before all this. I don't really want to meet these guardians, if that's the they Marilyn...I mean Bob was talking about."
"So you do believe we need to do something," Michael said quickly.
"I believe," Brian stressed, "that this is fucked up, but what are we really talking about here Mikey? I mean, really," Brian said as he shook his head.
All of a sudden, Brian stopped the car in the middle of the street.
"Brian, what are you doing," Michael started and then stopped also. "Is that what I think it is?"
Brian took his sunglasses off so he could look at it more clearly. He was then shaken out of his trance as a car drove by and blared their horn at them.
"Get out of the middle of the street asshole," the driver in the car yelled out the window.
"What do you think Brian?" Michael asked.
Brian pulled over to the side and parked in front of the shop that had a huge sign in front that read JO'S SHOE REPAIR. The sign was in the shape of a boot - the kind that is usually associated with the nursery rhyme about the old woman who lived in a shoe.
"This is such a fucking long shot," Brian said.
Michael looked over at Brian. "It wouldn't hurt."
"So what am I supposed to do, Michael," Brian said while chuckling, "walk in and say 'hey, I'm not from around here, but I bet you get that line all the time?'"
Michael sighed, "it's all we got."
Brian and Michael exited the Jeep and walked up to the front door of the shop. Inside was a small woman behind the counter. Brian recalled the time he and Michael were fifteen and they went to see Silverado because Kevin Kline and Kevin Costner were in it. The little woman reminded him of the woman who played the madam in the movie. She was wearing a shirt that read BINGO'S BITCH. Brian reflected on the fact that she probably frequented the same establishment Debbie did.
Once the woman was finished with her last customer and they exited the shop, she turned her attention to Michael and Brian.
"Excuse me, I know this sounds crazy," Michael started.
"You want to talk to me about crazy," the woman said as she turned her attention to Brian and smiled, "but you bring him here?" The woman walked right up to Brian and got into his space. "Welcome to the other side of the mirror, Alice."
Feedback is always appreciated and wanted and loved and craved. Well you know.