I trust everyone had a good Easter.
Here's the next chapter of my story.
******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.
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.
Author's Note #2: You can pronounce Cthulhu ka-too-la.
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
Chapter 12 Brian keeps looking for answers
Chapter 13 Brian learns some hard truths
Chapter 14 Brian remembers something
Chapter 15 Brian fucks up
"Oh God, Daphne, you don't know how good it is to see you," he said and smiled.
And with that, Brian hugged the girl to him once more, feeling for the first time in his life what the tears of relief felt like on his cheeks.
Daphne managed to pull herself away from the man who was so desperately clinging to her.
She laughed as she held the man out at arm's length. "Not that I'm flattered," she said, "but who are you?"
Brian took in the large, toothy white smile and smiled back. He just couldn't seem to stop being the grinning fool at the moment.
He found Daphne.
A link to Justin.
Not his friends who didn't know him. Not random people off the street, residing in the homes of a supposed past.
But an honest to God link.
"I'm sorry," Brian said as he stepped back, running his hand through his hair. "That must've seemed kind of strange."
Daphne shrugged and nodded her head while smiling. "Yeah, well if you knew my friends, you'd know strange isn't a stranger to me," Daphne said as she laughed at her own joke.
"Well, that's what I wanted to talk about," Brian continued, rubbing his sweaty hands along his sides, "I'm a mutual friend...well that is to say...I was." Brian winced while biting his lips. "I know a friend of yours and..."
"I don't remember meeting you," Daphne prompted.
"No. No, you haven't. I'm a friend of Justin's," Brian sighed.
Daphne stopped smiling while looking at the man confused,
The look was not lost on Brian and he suddenly felt as if he had swallowed his heart. "You do know him, right?"
"Yes, I know Justin," Daphne said cautiously.
"You're his best friend, right?" Brian asked. Had there been some rift between the two?
"Always and forever," Daphne said. Brian noted how she said the last thing almost wistfully.
"Okay, I know enough to know something's definitely wrong here," Brian said while furrowing his brows.
"Yeah I'll fucking say. Who the fuck are you?" Daphne started to yell while advancing on Brian. "You come to my home. You ask me about...about Justin." She then stopped and looked away. "Who are you and how do you know Justin?" Daphne asked again, more quietly.
Brian breathed in and continued, "I just do and I can't explain it." Brian came up behind Daphne. "Is he...is he going to college here, at the Art Institute?"
"The Art Institute? You mean PIFA?" Daphne asked incredulously.
"No of course not," she scoffed.
"Then his father sent him off to Dartmouth? Is that it?" Brian asked.
"What? Dartmouth?!" Daphne yelled once again. "Look, you, whoever you are...Justin's not going to any college."
"That's it, isn't it? His father wouldn't pay for college...any college. Oh God, this is worse than I thought," Brian said as he turned away for the moment. Visions of what Justin had to do to get the tuition together started to float through Brian's head.
Daphne rounded on Brian. "Look, I'm gonna ask just one more fucking time...who are you? You say you know Justin but you're asking me if he's attending college and then you bring up his dad..."
"Daphne," Brian said as he grabbed hold of her arms, Daphne looking down at where Brian was holding on to her.
"Please let me go, you're scaring me," she said as she looked up at Brian.
Brian thought about it. It made sense. What if his father found out he was gay and had still tossed him out of his house? What if Justin was living on the streets somewhere? What if he had done what he had done to get the tuition for school; dance for scum like Sap, or worse? He could tell by the look on Daphne's face that it must be something dire. He was in advertising, he knew how to read people's expressions.
He decided he didn't care what situation Justin was in. He wouldn't judge him on it. He would find him, take him out of it and get him back on track. He wouldn't hold back.
He would set things right.
"I need to see Justin. I don't care how bad it is," Brian said as he looked pleadingly down at Daphne.
"You want to see Justin?" Daphne asked incredulously.
"Please. Is he..is he still in Pittsburgh?" Brian asked.
Daphne looked up at him with narrowed eyes, "yes."
"Can you take me to him?"
"Yes, I can take you to Justin," she said resignedly. Daphne jerked out of Brian's grasp. "We'll take my car," she said and with that Daphne turned around and headed back down the stairs, Brian following closely on her heels.
And meanwhile, in the other dimension, at the loft
Brian was letting him know, in his own way, he just didn't care anymore. This is what he meant to the man. He was pushing Justin off a cliff so he didn't have to say it directly. He would never put them both in danger like that if it wasn't so. Justin was good for fucking. That was it. And even that wasn't enough for Brian anymore apparently.
Justin kept looking at the spot on the ceiling. The only sounds that issued from the bedroom were Brian's quiet words of comfort, the cars passing by in the afternoon rush hour and the sound of his own heart, slowly breaking in two.
Justin was sitting on the couch, his sketchbook in his hand, having sketched for the past fifteen minutes or so, his legs curled up into his chest, trying to block out everything that had happened only a few hours before. Brian walked into the living room from the bedroom.
"What are you drawing?" he asked as he came over and looked over Justin's shoulder.
Brian looked at the sketch Justin was currently working on. The larger man looked remarkably like the super hero 'Rage' that Brian had seen sketched on a few boards over at Mikey's comic book shop earlier that morning. He had meant to ask Michael what that was all about since he shared a striking resemblance to the super hero. The figure in the sketch he was looking at looked the same, only he had seemed to mutate into a savage beast and was ripping out the heart of the blond boy in the picture.
Brian thought the kid's sketching was good, really good, if not a bit gruesome.
"That's a bit dark for someone like you, isn't it?" Brian asked.
"Please Brian, not now," Justin said impassively.
Brian looked at the young man sitting on his couch. He knew that what ever he had done, well, he knew what he had done, trying to fuck the boy raw, had made him very upset and Justin had been withdrawn ever since then.
Of course, looking at the picture, it didn't take a rocket scientist to read between the lines.
Brian thought that maybe it had been simply a gross misuse of Justin's trust in him, but he didn't think so. It went beyond that and he was racking his brain over how it could have resulted in the fallen man in front of him.
Brian, wanting to give Justin his space, walked over to the liquor trolley and poured himself a Beam. He swallowed it in one gulp, tasting the burn as it went down.
That was better.
He looked over at Justin again, over the glass, hoping he wasn't being too obvious as he watched him.
Justin continued to sketch and a loud 'Fuck' could be heard, followed by Justin massaging his drawing hand.
"Cramp?" Brian asked as he went over to Justin.
Justin looked up at him as he shook his hand out, "don't worry. I'll take care of it myself."
"That happens a lot, doesn't it?" Brian asked. He knew he needed to ask Michael about Justin's hand. Maybe he could find out about it without looking like he was trying to.
Justin sighed. "Yes, Brian, it still happens when I draw. Despite what everyone thinks and what I've been telling them, my hand still spasms out when I sketch free hand with it. Okay?" Justin threw the sketchbook down on the coffee table and stood up. "Yes I'm still your gimp boyfriend, okay?" Justin turned away as he crossed his arms over his chest, as if trying to stem off the cold and walked over to the window. "It still hurts Brian. Is that it? Is it because I'm broken? Thanks to Chris Hobbs, I'm broken. Is that it?"
Brian stopped. Everything else after the word 'Hobbs' didn't even register. He ran over to Justin in front of the window.
"What did you just say?" Brian asked as he stood in front of Justin and grabbed him by the shoulders.
"I'm broken and," Justin sighed, "is that it?" Justin looked up at Brian imploringly.
"Chris Hobbs hit you with a baseball bat," Brian said while swallowing.
"Yes, I know Brian, you don't have to remind me. Is this your idea of a pep talk?" Justin asked.
"At your prom," Brian said.
"Brian!" Justin yelled while he turned around, stomping off back to the living room. "Do you have to keep throwing it into my face?"
"I have to go see Mikey now," Brian said and ran his hand through his hair, looking around wildly. "I'll be back."
"Of course you do. Go Brian...just go," Justin said as he waved to the door.
Brian grabbed his keys and raced out of the loft and to his Jeep.
All the way over to the comic book shop, breaking every speed limit and running yellow lights, words kept going through his head.
Bat to the head.
He thought he had recognized Justin's last name when he had first seen it on the envelope from the clinic. The problem with the hand now made sense. He had obviously sustained nervous system damage.
Brian parked the Jeep in front of Michael's store, heedless of the red curb and dashed inside.
What he saw made him stop in his tracks. Michael was there, along with Lindsay, and they both abruptly halted their quiet conversation to take in who had just rushed into the store.
"Brian!" Lindsay said, slightly wary.
Brian turned to Michael. "You told her?"
"I had to. Brian," Michael said as he ran up to his best friend, "she should know too."
"Brian are you?" Lindsay started.
"Look, we can talk about this shit later," Brian said, and took a deep breath. "Right now I need to know something."
"What?" Michael asked confused.
"Justin...he went to his prom last year, correct?" Brian asked.
"Yes," Michael said. "Fuck! Brian, did you ask him about his hand or something?" Lindsay moved in closer to the two men.
"What happened at his prom...here?" Brian asked.
"Here?" Lindsay said, "Brian are you saying Justin went to his prom and..."
"Not now, Lindsay. Michael?" Brian asked, trying to get some answers and quickly.
"He went to his prom, with Daphne," Michael said.
"His best friend, the Chanders' girl, right?" Brian asked.
"Yes, and then Brian showed up at the prom, they danced a dance, and then," Michael stopped because no matter what anyone thought, it was still painful to remember what happened afterwards and the look of shock on Brian's face at the hospital.
"Michael? Brian showed up at the prom?" Brian prompted.
"Yes, and then when they went down to the parking garage, Chris Hobbs came out of nowhere," Michael said while shaking his head, remembering Brian explaining it back to him, "Brian was trying to get to Justin in time but it was too late. Chris had hit him with the bat. Brian took the bat and hit Chris in the knees and then called 911. Justin was lying on the concrete, bleeding..."
"So Brian was in the garage when it happened?" Brian asked.
"Yes," Michael said as he looked directly at Brian.
Brian turned away while talking, "Justin Taylor was bashed at his prom where I'm from too. I just remembered the whole incident when Justin said Hobbs' name."
"Oh my God! Michael," Lindsay said as she heard the news. "Do you know what that means?" Lindsay said excitedly. "It means Brian wasn't responsible for it." Lindsay then turned to Brian. "He always felt so guilty about that night."
Michael knew what she was saying was true, but somehow he couldn't exactly get as excited as her when he realized what that meant. That Justin had still been bashed.
"How was he...after the bashing? Justin that is?" Brian asked.
"It was really touch and go...he was in a coma but he came out of it. He had been taken to the hospital in time. He was in the hospital for six weeks and there was nerve damage. That's why Brian got him the computer," Michael said, just saying everything that came to mind. He stopped when it came to telling Brian about the nightmares and how Justin was always scared to go out in crowds.
"We have a problem," Brian said and sighed, while looking directly at both Michael and Lindsay. "Justin Taylor...died at his prom."
I do want feedback, because I know that some of you will be pretty pissed off at me right about now.