BETWEEN THE SESSIONS
Ok, a little early ( you're welcome!) here is the newest Between the Session, after session 9. Please note Snooks and Alicia, and other medical types out there, I realize I probably stretched the role of what a shrink would be able to say, but this is fiction and it is important to move the storyline. Hopefully it's not too out of the realm of likelihood, but if so, try to enjoy it anyway. And now I am ducking!! R.
Brian couldn't move. Movement started the razor blades that sliced like a rotor through the center of his brain. No noise. No light. He was immobilized by the worst headache of his life, and he couldn't even blame booze or drugs as the cause. The sudden sound of the downstairs buzzer announcing that someone at the front door was seeking him, hit his brain with the impact of a Teflon bullet. He stumbled over to the intercom and leaned his palm on it as he growled, "Shut the fuck up!"
Laughter. "Hello to you, too. It's Jeff." Brian released the door and sank down to the floor after unlocking the entry to his loft. He sat with his back against the wall, his face in his hands, his elbows on his raised knees. He was trying very diligently not to throw up. He heard someone enter, presumed it was Jeffrey, and winced when the door slammed shut.
"What the hell, Brian?" Jeffrey squatted beside him, resting his hand on his shoulder. He had brought a bag full of food and a bottle of wine with him, and the smell of the food increased Brian's nausea.
"Headache, bad," Brian responded through gritted teeth.
Jeffrey forced his hands away from his face and squinted at him. "Drugs?"
"No, Advil, didn't help."
"Do you get migraines?"
"Are you nauseous?"
"Your muscles are like twisted steel. Let me help you up. Come on," he gently assisted him to his feet and kept an arm around his waist. "Where's the bed?"
Despite his pain, Brian had to smile slightly. "Animal."
"Shut up!" Jeffrey said with a laugh, following his instincts and leading Brian to the bedroom area of the loft where he instructed him to stretch out, face down, on the mattress.
Jeffrey straddled his hips and began massaging his shoulders and neck, extending his hands to his temples and applying acupressure to his pain sensors. At first, Brian thought he couldn't tolerate his touch, any touch, but slowly his body responded to the soothing, knowledgeable massage, and the pain began to recede. Jeffrey could trace the retreat of the misery as Brian's muscles softened. His breathing became deeper, more regular, and the grimace that held his features in a mask of pain went away, returning his face to what was normal and handsome. Jeffrey continued to massage him, lengthening his strokes to his torso and sides, and within minutes, Brian was fast asleep.
When Brian finally awoke, he was disoriented. He didn't remember going to bed, he just remembered the pain, and he was relieved to find that all that remained of it was a dull throb. Had Jeffrey been there or did he dream him? He knew Justin was gone, that was a nightmare he was living. He sat up slowly, not wanting to risk the return of the pain with sudden movement. Nothing. He made his way through the darkness to the bathroom, and relieved his bladder. He then went into the main area of the quiet loft, only to find Jeffrey dozing on the leather chaise, an empty wine glass on the floor beside him. The massage came back to him, and Brian smiled, grateful for his intervention.
He moved Jeffrey's leg aside so he could sit on the edge of the chaise and peered down at his elegant features. He removed Jeffrey's glasses and folded them into his shirt pocket, then kissed him gently on the lips. Jeffrey moaned, deepened the caress, resting an arm around Brian's neck. Brian enjoyed the kiss for a moment, then withdrew, causing Jeffrey's arm to slither down his shoulder. "I don't know what you did, but thanks. I thought I was having a stroke."
"Your muscles were so tight the blood flow to your brain was being affected and the stricture inflamed the membranes. If that kind of headache happens again, take a muscle relaxant and get in the Jacuzzi. No alcohol."
"It's never happened before, so I don't see why it would happen again."
"You have every right to feel tense, Brian. I heard what happened with Justin. I'm sorry."
"How did you...?Oh, Leo."
"Yes. If I played a part in it, I deeply regret it."
Brian stood up, the misery he had blocked with pain and sleep returned to nag at his composure. "I don't want to talk about it."
"Of course. Are you hungry?"
"What time is it?"
Jeffrey glanced at his watch, a slim Patek Phillipe. "Almost two- thirty. Dinner will be late tonight," he teased.
Brian grimaced. "I don't feel like going out. But I am hungry. I don't think I ate at all today."
"No need to go out," Jeffrey insisted, walking over to the kitchen and opening the sub-zero. Brian smirked at him.
"Nothing in there but Evian, beer, and whatever junk food Justin left."
"And a little coq au vin, fresh asparagus and wild rice soufflé," he took several storage bowls from the rack and put them in the microwave. "I brought it with me. My mother always taught me that when a friend is in need, bring food."
"I thought that was supposed to be a casserole or something."
"We're faggots, darling," Jeffrey teased. "We don't do casseroles."
Brian was amazed by how hungry he was as he devoured the meal, even going after seconds. Sated, he leaned back and smiled across the table at Jeffrey. "Did you cook that?"
"Will you marry me?"
Brian laughed and carried a stack of dishes into the kitchen. Jeffrey followed with the rest, and they put them in the dishwasher and cleaned up the rest of the debris. Order was always important to Brian, especially when he was distressed. He sensed Jeffrey had the same hang up. Even living with a toddler, Jeffrey's home was carefully ordered. They emptied the remains of the wine bottle into their stems and returned to the main area, sitting on the leather couch, facing the waning fire in the hearth.
"I haven't had a chance to tell you how beautiful your loft is," Jeffrey finally said. "It's so you."
Brian glanced at him and smiled slightly. "Is that a cut?"
"No! You know, it's sleek and stylish and cool. Like you. Opposite of my place, isn't it?"
"It's just another way to slice the Architectural Digest layout. My place would be called, "Urban Chic in Soho". Your place would be called, "Elegance on Fifth Avenue". Both are valid."
Jeffrey smiled. "It would be interesting to see how the two would blend."
Brian glanced at him. "They wouldn't blend."
"I know you asked for space, Brian. But when I heard about Justin, I couldn't just leave you here alone. I had to come over."
"I'm glad you did. I don't know what I would've done if that headache continued."
"You have to eat. You have to take care of yourself. You'll get through this. He's young. He just needs some time to work things out in his mind. He'll be back."
"You don't know that. You don't know what's happened with us in the past, or how we both feel now. It's about a lot more than my spending the night with you in the woods."
Jeffrey sighed, nodded. "That's fair. I don't know. I just know you're in pain, and I hate that and want to help."
Brian frowned. He stared at his wine glass as if all the answers were waiting to be revealed in the dark maroon of the merlot. "I think I lost him for good this time, Jeff."
"Over one mistake? If you can call our wonderful night together a mistake, and I'm sure Justin would. He's not that unforgiving, is he?"
"It's deeper than that," Brian placed his glass on the table, closing his eyes and rubbing his eyelids gently with his thumb and forefinger. Jeffrey moved closer to him, and put his arm across his shoulders.
"Let me hold you, baby."
"I'm okay," Brian said softly, but he went into Jeffrey's arms anyway, holding tightly to him.
Jeffrey could feel Brian's tension vibrate in the intensity of his embrace. He felt as if he was the rope lashing Brian to the side of a cliff above a deep chasm. The extent of Brian's emotions for Justin didn't please Jeffrey, but Brian's trusting him enough to show him some emotional weakness did. "Let go of it, Brian," he whispered softly. "I'll never tell."
Brian felt the threat of tears, an impossible expression for him, and he considered dropping his defenses and letting them flow, but caught himself. Instead, he kissed Jeffrey hard on the lips, reverting to a more familiar escape from pain.
Jeffrey pulled Brian on top of him, flattening his hand on Brian's ass, pushing him closer to his pelvis. Brian ground against him, feeling them both grow hard, as if combining into a single massive erection. Brian shuddered as Jeffrey pulled off his shirt, exposing his skin to the night's chill. The momentary cold was soon replaced by the warmth of Jeffrey's other hand moving across Brian's back and shoulders. Passion intensified, and then Brian paused, raising himself on his arms. He peered down into Jeffrey's face as he said, "This thing with Justin is not over. I'm not giving up."
Jeffrey smiled sweetly. "I understand, Brian. I'm not trying to take advantage of your unhappiness. I just want to help you get through this in any way that I can. If it works out with Justin, fine. I know he has priority with you. But if it doesn't, I intend to be the first in line."
"Do you understand that 'working it out' with Justin may mean I can't see you again?"
Jeffrey reached up and ran his fingers through Brian's hair and then rested his palm against his flushed cheek. "Is that what you want?"
"You know it's not what I want," Brian whispered, pressing his erection against Jeffrey's answering hardness. "But I'm being realistic."
"What's realistic, Brian?"
"I hope it's realistic that we can be platonic friends if we have to... if this ends."
"So you've capitulated your private life to Justin?"
"I don't want to lose him."
"You're not a domesticated animal, Brian. If he thinks you are, he doesn't know you at all. The wildness in Brian Kinney is one your traits that I love most. He should treasure that feral quality, not try to emotionally blackmail it out of your soul."
Brian sighed, moved by that declaration. "He may be able to tolerate my tricking occasionally, but he can't tolerate my being with you because he knows how much I like you. You threaten him. You're pretty overwhelming."
Jeffrey moved his hand down Brian's flat belly to slip inside the waistband of his jeans. His hand squeezed his hard cock, and Brian exhaled slowly. "Brian, I don't give a shit about the effect I have on Justin. I only care what effect I have on you."
Brian kissed him, wanting to take Justin out of their conversation, away from the heat that bubbled between them, safe in some secret corner of his heart.
In bed, Brian's frustration, fear and anguish took the form of a sexual frenzy. He couldn't reach satisfaction no matter how hard he fucked Jeffrey. Only when Jeffrey took control of the scene did that change for him. Jeffrey bound Brian's wrists with Brian's black Prada tie, and then anchored them to an exposed support post of the loft with a leather belt. He insinuated himself between Brian's strong thighs, spreading out against his back and lubricating his ass with his greased up fingers. Bound and helpless, Brian was able to surrender enough control that he found a shattering release under Jeffrey's relentless fucking.
The Next Morning...
Justin experienced that strange weight that first came over him in Leo's kitchen on the night he left Brian. The pressure returned the moment he entered the building where Brian's loft was located. He bypassed the elevator, trudging up the stairs, hoping the exertion would clear his troubled mind. He had a meeting with Lydia in an hour, and he wanted to talk with Brian first. He was shocked when Brian's assistant informed him Brian had taken a couple days of vacation. Justin felt a surge of guilt over causing this lapse in Brian's workaholic tendencies. He used his key to enter the loft. Brian was leaning into the open door of the sub zero, reaching for something on a back shelf. Justin noticed Brian was wearing the navy silk robe Justin frequently usurped. A rush of longing overcame Justin's anger, and he had to flatten his hands on the countertop to keep from walking over and resting them on Brian's ass. Just then, Brian straightened up. Not Brian at all. Jeffrey. Jeffrey in Brian's robe. Unshaven, bed hair, at ease in this place that Justin considered home. Their eyes met. Justin's hands balled into fists, while Jeffrey smiled serenely.
"What the hell are you doing here?" Justin insisted. Jeffrey shrugged and filled a tumbler with orange juice that he poured from a glass pitcher.
"I'm having some juice. Care to join me?"
Justin walked past him to the bedroom. No Brian. The bathroom. Nothing. He returned to the kitchen. "Where's Brian?"
"He went down to the deli to get us some bagels. Why not stay and have one with us?"
"You're inviting me to stay for breakfast in my own home after you spent the night fucking my boyfriend?"
"Temper, temper," Jeffrey said calmly. He checked the progress of the coffee brewing in the German coffee maker, mumbling audibly, "I hope he remembers half and half. I hate coffee without half and half."
Justin was enraged by this little domestic scene Jeffrey was exposing him to. In his own home. "How can you be so cold blooded?" Justin demanded. He was amazed by the good doctor's transformation into Mr. Hyde. Jeffrey smiled at him, his handsome features suddenly looking very wolf like and predatory to the younger man.
"You're the one who decided to take a hike at the first sign of trouble. You left the door open, biscuit. When you do something like that, you never know who might slip in while you're gone."
"You phony bastard!" Justin instinctively lunged for Jeffrey. His arm accidentally swept the pitcher off the counter and it shattered on the terrazzo tiles with the damaging force of a nail bomb, sending splinters of glass flying in every direction. Jeffrey cursed, his bare feet and legs pelted with the tiny spears, each drawing a bead of blood like hungry transparent mosquitoes. Justin shoved him backwards with the force of his hands flattened on his chest. Jeffrey slipped on the spilled juice and came down hard on a chunk of glass that became lodged in the ball of his foot. Blood mixed with the juice and Justin stared at it as a glimmer of a memory came to him, then quickly disappeared. Blood on cement.
"Stop it; I've got a huge piece of glass in my foot!" Jeffrey pleaded, but Justin came at him again, prevented from reaching him by a steely grip on his wrist.
"Justin, calm down," Brian held tightly to him until he grew still. Only then did he release him. Justin twisted away from him, watching Jeffrey dislodge the glass from his foot, unleashing a torrent of blood.
"What the hell?" Brian demanded as Justin glared at him.
"Just an accident," Jeffrey said coolly, pressing a paper towel to his feet. The paper immediately turned crimson.
"How could you?" Justin turned his ire on Brian. "The bed's not even cold yet and you have HIM staying over? You really don't give a shit if I stay or if I go!"
"That's not true," Brian defended calmly. "You're the one who left. You gave up your territorial privileges to my bed when you left."
"No one has territorial privileges in that bed, Brian. There's too much traffic to claim it!"
"Justin..." Brian tried to put an arm around him, but Justin pulled free. "Look, Jeff came over here because he heard what happened with us and he was trying to be supportive. He brought dinner."
"What did you do? Eat it off his dick? You two deserve each other!" He stormed out the door. Brian started to follow, but Jeffrey stopped him.
Brian paused impatiently, wanting to stop Justin before he got down the stairs. "What?"
"I think I need to go to the ER. It's deep, I can't stop the bleeding. I need stitches. You're going to have to help me. I'm sorry."
Brian looked at the growing wad of red paper towels and winced. He remembered blood on white, a tuxedo shirt, a silk scarf. Justin. He glanced towards the door, mentally running after his lover so he could make the hurt go away. But he knew what he had to do.
He retrieved a towel from the bathroom, helped Jeffrey hobble over to a chair, and wrapped his bleeding foot, with extra pressure on the ball of it. He then helped him dress and called for a car. Only when they were in the town car, headed for the Emergency Room, was Brian able to relax enough to think of Justin again. Recall his look of anger and betrayal. The guilt washed over him like acid. He stared out the window, gnawing on his thumbnail, unaware of Jeffrey's penetrating gaze. Jeffrey knew Brian's thoughts were with Justin. He resented that fact, but also knew he had to play it cool and sympathetically. The little bastard had done it now. Not only did he ruin their perfect morning with his melodramatics, but he succeeded in physically hurting Jeffrey. Before, Jeffrey's only goal was to wrench Brian away from the Boy Toy and claim him as his own. Now it was personal. Now he wanted the Boy Toy to experience a little pain along the way to losing the love of his life. And Brian was the weapon to inflict that pain, Jeffrey realized. He slid his hand onto Brian's thigh, smiling as Brian automatically covered his fingers with his own, never breaking his gaze from the window.
Doctor's Notes: Today, I met with JT, domestic partner of BK. I have met with JT before, see notes. When he arrived for our meeting, he was in a much different state of mind than at our prior sessions. It was immediately apparent that he had been crying, and he was agitated and angry. See releases in file, signed by both JT and BK to permit my meeting with both.
Excerpt from transcript:
Doctor: Thank you for coming to see me, Justin.
Doctor: Mad, huh?
Doctor: You can say it.
JT: I hate him!
JT: Him too! But especially that asshole, Jeffrey Walker!
Doctor: Tell me about that, Justin.
JT: I saw who he really is today, when Brian wasn't there. He's a predator. A wolf. He will do anything to protect his kill. Get rid of anyone in his way.
Doctor: And Brian is his "kill"?
JT: Yes, he is.
Doctor: Did something new happen?
JT: I went over there this morning to talk to Brian. Jeffrey was there. Wearing Brian's robe, the one I always wore. In my kitchen, using my refrigerator, just making himself at home. Brian had gone out for bagels. I'm not gone two days and Jeffrey is moving in!
JT: May as well be. I broke the juice pitcher and he cut his foot and I stormed out, so I don't know what happened after that. Brian didn't even follow me out. He stayed there with Jeffrey.
Doctor's Note: Justin began to cry. I gave him a few minutes to recover, and then he said:
JT: I told them they deserve each other.
Doctor: So you left the playing field?
JT: Yes! Fuck! I don't know!
Doctor: Are you surprised that Brian resorted to sex for comfort?
JT: No. But did it have to be with Jeffrey?
Doctor: Why does that bother you, Justin?
JT: Because Jeffrey is out to get him and Brian is too stupid to see it!
Doctor: Why do you think that? Brian's been around.
JT: Jeffrey is a master mind fuck. He plays Brian's vulnerabilities. He wants him and he intends to get him.
Doctor: And you intend to let him?
JT: (Glaring.) What can I do?
Doctor: Let's consider the possibilities, Justin. First, Jeffrey loves Brian, Brian loves Jeffrey, and then frankly the only thing you can do is exit the relationship. It's over. Second, Jeffrey loves Brian; Brian is ambivalent about both you and Jeffrey, uncertain. You can clear the way for Jeffrey to fill the void, or you can fight for Brian, your choice. Third, Jeffrey loves Brian; Brian is attracted to Jeffrey sexually, but is still in love with you. That's more problematical, isn't it? Even if you clear out, Jeffrey still has a long way to go to get past Brian's emotional defenses. Fourth, Jeffrey loves Brian; Brian is a confused raging mass of conflicts and has no idea what he wants or how he feels about anything. He is in pain, is terrified, is lost. Fifth, Jeffrey is using Brian. Brian is a confused raging mass of conflicts and has no idea what he wants or how he feels about anything. Brian is porked.
JT: (Smiled slightly.) Sounds like four or five are more likely.
Doctor: Can I debate that with you?
Doctor: Brian is indeed confused and conflicted, but he does know that he loves you, Justin, and he does know that things are falling apart and he is terrified. He is unclear about Jeffrey and let me give you a spin on this situation that may or may not be accurate. Brian was devastated when you left him. No, don't argue with me on that point, it's not even open for debate. He was emotionally devastated. I'm not placing blame. I'm just telling you the result.
JT: He left me no option.
Doctor: No doubt you believed that, Justin. As the devastation faded, he tried to make sense of it, but Brian lacks the coping tools to assist him in that evaluation. He is an absolute beginner when it comes to relationships. Clueless. He used sex and drugs. His usual painkillers, but the agony was always there. And so he became angry.
JT: At what?
Doctor: At you, Justin. You left him.
JT: No, he never acted mad at me. He was always totally cool.
Doctor: Not an inch deeper than his skin, Justin. He was seething. In his mind, he had let you get closer to him than anyone, ever. You were his "partner", this man who took no partners, made no commitments. He believed he had made big concessions to your relationship. You can argue that he gave up very little. You're both probably right. What seemed small to you loomed big in his emotional makeup. Neither one of you was right or wrong, you just came at this thing from very different emotional perspectives. You wanted the romance. He felt as if he gave you the big gesture, and that should be enough. He was enraged that you opened him up and then left him there, exposed and alone. Intellectually, he understands what you were missing. Emotionally, he is devastated and angry.
JT: (Paused) Still?
Doctor: Yes, Justin. Deep down, buried in denial, still.
JT: Shit. I was right? He wanted me back as payback for what I did to him? To get even with me?
Doctor: Not that simple, Justin. I think there is an element of revenge at the back of his anger, but his vulnerable self resists that losing endeavor. Consciously, he loves you very much. He can't tolerate the idea that anyone, especially himself, would hurt you. He's angry at himself for being what he perceives as weak and unworthy. His subconscious tells him you will leave him, inevitably. You will see him for the flawed creature that he is, and leave. Enters Jeffrey. JT: Yes, the asshole.
Doctor: Judgments aside, Justin, Jeffrey is Brian's age. Like Brian, he already has earned a large measure of professional success and reward. Jeffrey is handsome, wealthy and sophisticated. If someone like Jeffrey can be interested in him, when he hasn't thrown out any barriers and facades, then maybe he's not irredeemable. With you, Brian is mentor and to a certain extent, corruptor. With Jeffrey he is at best an equal, and more likely with Brian's ego issues, he probably believes Jeffrey is somewhat dominant. That dominance permits Brian to erode a little of his binding control.
JT: So I'm dead in the water.
Doctor: Not at all. Do you believe Jeffrey has Brian's best interests at heart, Justin?
JT: I believe he has no heart. To him, Brian is a trophy. He's gorgeous, successful, sexy as hell and glib. Jeffrey likes to picture himself with a man like that, not seeing all the insecurity beneath Brian's surface. It took me a long time to see it, myself. How fucked up he really is.
Doctor: Justin, you're hurt and you have every reason to be hurt. And angry. You and Brian have many big issues to wade through before you can have a successful relationship. But you love each other, and that emotion is not easily found and easily maintained. It's rare and it's precious. Only you can decide if you're up to a fight, and if it's worth it to you, and whether you really want Brian, should you happen to succeed. If you chose to bow out and make your own way without him, most people, if not all, would reassure you it is perfectly understandable. But your relationship is not like most, and no one can tell you how to feel. If you choose to surrender, given Brian's present state of mind, I can promise you he will be living with Jeffrey within the month. From everything I've heard, Jeffrey has plotted a brilliant takeover campaign and Brian is oblivious to it.
JT: Even if I did fight for him, why would I win? How can I compete with Jeffrey?
Doctor: You're young, beautiful, sexy, and Brian adores you.
JT: When he isn't resenting me and hating me?
Doctor: Never said that. Never said hate. Anger, yes. Resentment? Probably. Hate? Never. But it won't be pretty, Justin, these things seldom are. My advice to Brian will be to pull back a bit from you both and try to get his own desires sorted before he proceeds. I'm not a matchmaker. I won't promote you over Jeffrey. I can only promote that Brian make sure he's in tight with his own emotions before he makes any big decisions.
JT: I don't know if I have the stomach for it.
Doctor: Understandable. You're the only one who can answer that question, and whatever you decide, it's perfectly fine, Justin. There is no wrong decision here unless it's to do nothing, when action was what you truly desired.
JT: (Smiled slyly.) Will you give me an insanity defense if I end up killing Dr. Dread?
Doctor: Now that you've said that, I'm afraid you may have a premeditation problem.
JT: (Laughed.) Shit! There goes my game plan. You like Brian, don't you, Lydia? He's gotten to you with that Kinney charm.
Doctor: Of course I like him, Justin. He's a likeable, bruised, vulnerable man. But understand this. I'm not his friend. I'm his doctor. I'm not trying to tie his life up with a satin bow so he can live happily ever after. I'm trying to help him face certain truths and learn how to cope. Many of those truths are not pleasant. They are painful. So hurting Brian is something I may do more often than he'd like, but it's a technique that works well with people with his problems.
JT: You could write a book about him.
Doctor: He may show up as Mr. X in a treatise someday. When is your next appointment for the regression therapy?
JT: Next Wednesday. Should I move back in with Brian?
Doctor: What do you think you should do, Justin?
JT: I'm not sure.
Doctor: There's your answer.
End of Excerpt
Doctor's Notes: JT is a very self aware man, especially for one so young. He has been dealt an emotional blow, but he sprang back quickly during the course of the session and is obviously ready to deal with his issues of whether it is worth it to him to fight for BK's affections. I made it clear this is not a struggle with a predictable outcome. No matter how hard he fights, he can't rig the resolution. BK is undergoing intense internal scrutiny and it's complicated by his ambiguity about Jeffrey. BK's therapy might progress more smoothly if JT decided to leave, as he would be forced to relinquish the past and move on to the new. However, the ease of his therapy is a small consideration compared to the conduct of his life, so it would be inappropriate for me to urge JT in either direction. I would like to meet Jeffrey. I have some fear he is a manipulative personality, which is counter intuitive for someone with BK's current ego fragility. I suspect, as a medical doctor, he would resist this meeting. If he takes the meeting, I would be prepared for major games playing and subtle challenges. I will spend some more time with BK before suggesting this meeting. Time, and JT, will have an impact on Jeffrey's campaign that will challenge BK. My goal is to assist BK in knowing and following his own emotions as he is presented with a series of difficult decisions.
|Disclaimer: The television show Queer As Folk and its characters are the property of Showtime and CowLip Productions. No money is being made. Stories and discussion are intended purely for the entertainment of fans of Queer as Folk, the Brian and Justin characters, and Randall's writings.
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July 25, 2004