BETWEEN THE SESSIONS
Ok, guys, SURPRRIIIISEEEE!! LOL!! Here it is. My fave so far. Thanks to Paul for his encouragement, and everything else about him, and thanks to my MOST EXCELLENT new beta, Darren! Enjoy (and yes there will be a part II)! R.
Michael had never flown First Class before. Brian upgraded him and they sat together on the bulkhead row. Brian deliberately made Michael sit by the window. He told him it was so he could enjoy the view, but in fact he wanted to act as buffer between Michael's enthusiasm and the rest of the plane. Michael exclaimed about the width and comfort of the seats, the gadgets available to them, the luxury of the experience. Brian gazed across the aisle at the man separated from him by this narrow expanse. The man gazed back, then smiled and reached over to give Brian's shoulder a gentle pat. This affectionate little gesture did not go unnoticed by Michael, who leaned over and whispered to Brian, "Why did Jeff have to fly out with us?"
"Shut up, Mikey," Brian said, turning so that his back was towards Jeffrey. He didn't want to be overheard. "He's coming here as a favor, so shut up."
"Wonder if Justin will see it s a favor," Michael groused.
"Since Jennifer asked him to, I'm sure he will. It's for his sister, Mikey. Can't you just look at it for what it is?"
"I am looking at it for what it is! You're the dumb ass!"
"Fuck you," Brian responded. Jeffrey leaned over and tapped on the arm of Brian's seat.
"Am I going to have to separate you two boys?"
"Better men than you have tried," Michael snapped at him and Brian rolled his eyes.
"I forgot to bring his crayons and coloring book. He gets cranky when we travel," he said to Jeffrey, who laughed.
"No problem." He reached up to tuck a stray strand of hair behind Brian's ear. Michael saw Brian smile and duck his face to ensure his skin made momentary contact with Jeffrey's fingers. Michael bristled at his reaction but somehow refrained from saying anything. As the jet climbed, Jeffrey became engrossed in reading Molly's file that had been sent to him at Jennifer's request by her daughter's treating team.
"It's not as if he's the only cancer doctor in the country," Michael mumbled, and Brian glared at him.
"True. He just happens to be one of the BEST. Do you know what the doctors at St. Joe's said when she told them she had been talking to Jeffrey Walker about Molly?"
Michael shook his head. He really didn't want to know. Brian went on. "They said he wrote the book on a case like this. They said they would be honored to consult with Jeffrey."
Michael tried to think of something sarcastic to say, but everything that popped into his head sounded petty and mean. This was Molly's life, after all. He couldn't begrudge her the best talent out there, even if that talent was after his best friend's fine ass. "Whatever!" That was the only retort he could conjure.
Brian was reading some financial documents he took from his briefcase and midway through, he leaned across the aisle to consult Jeffrey. "Do you have any money invested in a hedge fund?"
"I have a prospectus for a fund I've been watching. I want to diversify, but it's a hundred grand minimum which is a big commitment for me."
"Is it heavily weighted in either Pacific Rim or Telecom? I think both of those sectors are soft. And will be for awhile. I have a broker..."
Michael tuned out the rest of their conversation. He had no idea what a hedge fund was or anything else they were talking about. Watching them converse, he was struck by a revelation. Brian had grown up. He wasn't sure where or how, but the wild hare he knew and loved was suddenly "substantial." He read and understood the Wall Street Journal. He had INVESTMENTS, not just some money in the bank. He had a big job handling multi-million dollar accounts. He worked out to stay healthy, not just to look good. He knew wines, not just red from white. He knew fashion, and how to wear it, not just what was hot. He had a membership in an exclusive DINING club and the limo service knew him by name. He had a shrink. He worried about his RELATIONSHIP, not just about getting laid. He had a friend and potential or present lover who was a world- renowned cancer specialist. Brian was not just working with the power structure; he was PART of that structure. For some reason, this epiphany made Michael feel scared and alone.
When they landed, Ben was waiting for Michael, who ran to embrace him. Ben exchanged a less than enthusiastic hug with Brian and shook hands with Jeffrey as they were introduced. Brian and Jeffrey went to pick up a rental car, and Michael watched them go before glancing at Ben. "Well? What do you think?"
"I think you're right. I think Justin should be worried."
"Because he's so handsome?"
"Because they seem to like each other very much. Not Brian's style."
"THANK you! Damn, Brian anyway."
"Look Michael," Ben said firmly. "You can't tell Brian who to love. Maybe Jeff is just what he needs. Wouldn't you feel bad if he were, and you told him something that cost him that relationship? And for god's sake don't say anything to Justin! Remember what happened the last time you tried that? You told Brian, against my advice, about Justin's kissing you-know-who and everything disintegrated. Brian was miserable, Justin wasn't happy for long and it got pretty awful for everyone. Learn a lesson."
"I know, I know," Michael pouted.
Ben just sighed, uncertain he had gotten through to his lover. He should know better than to try and restrain Michael from talking about anything that had to do with Brian. What Michael would do with this latest threat to Brian's solitude, Ben didn't know, but he could anticipate that it wouldn't be good.
In the rented Lincoln Navigator, that he thought had the size and maneuverability of a tank, Brian glanced at Jeffrey's handsome profile. "Why so quiet?"
Brian smiled. "Yes, Jeff, you are." He couldn't help but notice how good he looked in his charcoal gray trousers, and red cashmere pullover, his alpaca overcoat tossed in the back with the luggage. His glasses only enhanced his intelligent good looks. When they stopped for a light, Brian impulsively leaned over and kissed him. Jeffrey rested a hand on the back of Brian's head and slipped his tongue into his mouth. Only the incessant honking of the car behind them when the light turned green interrupted their embrace. Brian reluctantly sat back and moved the car forward.
"What was that for?" Jeffrey asked and Brian shrugged.
"For coming here, without being paid a dime, to consult on Molly's case. For being understanding about the sex thing. For being my friend."
"Brian I do a lot of pro bono work for kids who CAN'T pay. I have no problem volunteering a visit to Justin's sister. Or more, if needed. I have plenty of money. The kids are more important than anything else to me."
"I know. I believe that."
"Good, because it's true. As for the sex, I can wait. You have enough pressure in your life right now. And being your friend is the best thing that's happened to me in years."
Brian smiled slightly. "Thanks. For me too."
Jeffrey reached over and rested his hand on Brian's thigh. Brian sighed as he felt the impact of that touch in his groin. Jeffrey massaged his strong quadriceps muscle for a moment, then drifted his fingers up his leg, towards the firmly packed bulge at his crotch. "Nooo," Brian said, exhaling slowly as he covered Jeffrey's hand with his own. "Don't make me crazy."
Jeffrey smiled, and nodded, withdrawing his hand, having made his point. "So this is your hometown?"
"Pretty, isn't it?" Brian said with a laugh.
"Not bad. I'm sure there are prettier places than this highway. I want to see your home, where you grew up, so I can picture the little Brian. I want to see your infamous loft, at least the building, and Babylon and Boy Toy and Meat Hook and the baths, all the places you've told me about. Most of all, the diner. I'm dying to see the diner."
"What is this? The Brian Kinney tour of the Pitt?" he said with a laugh, and Jeffrey shrugged.
"As far as I'm concerned, you're Pittsburgh's greatest export."
Brian beamed at him, flattered by that compliment. Jeffrey had an almost magical way of making him feel worthy, better than worthy. He made him feel special, unique. Jeffrey seemed to see things in him that no one else saw, including himself. "Can I ask you a touchy question, Brian?"
"Sure," Brian said cautiously.
"Are you sure you aren't using the excuse that Justin's parents don't like you to avoid having to see Molly? Or to see Justin around Molly, while she is so sick?"
"Why would I feel that way?"
"Because seeing a small child suffering from a grave disease is very hard to take. Not being sure how you would react to it is natural. But believe me, when you're there with her, you'll see beyond the bald head and thin limbs to the little soldier putting up a valiant struggle. All you'll want to do is encourage her to keep going."
Brian was quiet for a moment, then, "Who are you? Lydia? My shrink?"
"No sweetheart, your friend. Your lover. I care about you. I understand you."
Brian sighed, meeting those words with a smile. "You pegged me on this one. I am uneasy about it. I don't know what to say. Not to Molly, not to Jennifer. Justin, I can handle."
"Trust me, Brian. You're a fine man. You have more than enough strength to do this. And it will mean a lot to her family and even to her. When little ones get sick like this they begin to feel very isolated. Think what it would mean to Justin."
"Not if he has to hold me up."
"Yes, even then. Maybe even more so."
At the hospital, Molly's room was dim. She had been napping fitfully, and her brother was zonked out in the chair beside her bed, still holding the book he had been reading her, Harry Potter's latest adventure. Their mother slept on the couch under the windows. Brian entered the room quietly, his heart pounding with fearful expectation. Only Molly was awake enough to focus on him. Her eyes seemed huge in her face, partly due to the fact she was very thin, not bloated as some little leukemia patients seemed to get. She wore a pink knit cap advertising the Powerpuff Girls over her bare head, and her impossibly spindly arms were networked with tubing, while a center line shunt poked out from the neckline of her floral hospital gown. Her chemotherapy was delivered through that shunt. The teddy bear Brian had sent her was nestled in the crook of one arm. As their eyes met, he had the strange sensation that her illness had given her an almost adult precognition. He steeled himself and held a finger up to his lips to signal silence. She nodded as he sat on the edge of her bed, speaking to her in a low whisper.
"Do you know who I am?"
"I'm your brother's friend, Brian."
She nodded again, holding up the bear and he smiled. "Glad you like him."
"Are you here to take Justin away?"
"Nope, only to visit. He has no interest in leaving you, Molly. How do you feel? Pretty rotten, huh?"
She nodded, relieved to meet someone who would let her admit to feeling bad. Most of the adults around her seemed let down and disappointed in her if she complained of aches and pains.
"Not fair, is it?" Brian anticipated her emotion.
She shook her head. He reached out and delicately threaded his fingers through hers. Her hand felt impossibly tiny in his. "Know what, Molly? I don't think it's fair, either. You should be out playing with your friends and eating chocolate sundaes."
She nodded, squeezing his hand, and he smiled. "You will be again. It doesn't seem like it now, but you will be. Sooner than you think."
"Not if I die," she said quietly, and he shook his head. Expressing her fear of death was also forbidden with the adults. They thought she was too young to truly comprehend the seriousness of her condition, but they were wrong.
"No one's dying around here. Remember when Justin had that ...accident... and was in the hospital for a long time?"
"Yes. His head was hurt bad."
"Right. Some people said he might die, but I knew he wouldn't. You Taylors are made of tough stuff."
"But I lost all my pretty hair," she said with a quivering lower lip and he nodded.
"Yeah, that's a shame, but look at me, Molly. You see all this hair? Feel it." He leaned down so she could run her hand through his brushy hair. "When I was your age, I found this old cat and brought it home with me. Turns out the old boy had ringworms. I had to have all my hair shaved off to deal with the disease. Kids made fun of me. Called me chrome dome and other mean things. I used to cry about it. But then I noticed I had a shadow of hair, and then a buzz and then all this stuff. If your arm or your leg or your teeth had to fall out in order to make you well, that would be sad, because they don't come back. But don't worry about your hair. Hair is like fingernails. It always grows back. Even better than it was."
She giggled and Brian smiled, surprised when he felt a hand close over his shoulder. He looked up into Jennifer's teary face, never having heard her get up and walk over to the bed. She leaned down to kiss his cheek, whispering the words "Bless you" as she did so. Brian fought against a surge of emotion and then nodded towards the door. "Going to talk to your mom a minute, Moll."
"Ok, but come back."
Jennifer's usual preppy, precise beauty was being tested by her ordeal. Her hair looked dull, and in need of a wash, pulled back in a stringy ponytail. She wore no makeup, and the stress showed on every feature. She wore a baggy sweatshirt over jeans and white cotton socks, but no shoes. She self consciously smoothed over her hair as she felt the gaze of this handsome young man pass over her. He may be gay, but he was unfairly gorgeous, and she was still enough of a woman to want to look less than horrible to him.
"Thank you for making her laugh. I haven't heard her laugh in so long. I was listening to you. You were wonderful."
He shrugged, uncomfortable, feeling his face grow red. He had no snappy comeback for that compliment. "Poor kid."
"And thank you for Jeffrey. He has been a lifesaver for me. He makes me understand all this medical mumbo-jumbo and he also makes me believe there's a chance for a happy ending. Sometimes I just can't..." her face fell as tears began, and Brian pulled her gently into his arms, just holding her against his body without saying anything.
"I always knew it was my Mom you had the hots for," Justin said drolly as he entered the hallway and witnessed the embrace. Jennifer left Brian's arms and accepted his offer of a linen handkerchief, blotting her tears as she glanced at her son.
"Don't be rude, Justin. Brian's come all the way from New York to see you. Is that all you can say?"
"Actually I came to see Molly, but I thought I might bump into him while I'm here," Brian teased. Justin smiled and nodded.
"So it's both the women in my family, is it? Animal. Molly's asking for you. No, Mom, not you. Brian."
Brian looked from Justin to Jennifer and shrugged. "Hey, I have a kid. I'm not a total burn out. Jeffrey's meeting with your doctors in the consulting room. Why don't you two go down there and talk to him? I'll stay with Molly while you do."
Jennifer looked uneasy. "Brian, she has a tendency to get sick to her stomach because of the chemo, and it's very sudden. She can't handle it by herself."
Brian shrugged. "My kid has thrown up, pissed, shit on me. Oh, and Gus is a problem, too." His eyes were on Justin, who laughed.
"Oh yeah, you bled all over me, too."
Jennifer watched their interplay and smiled. "I'll go make sure it's okay with Molly." She left them alone and the two men faced each other in silence for a moment, then Brian reached out and rested his hand on the back of Justin's neck, pulling him close. Justin encircled his slim waist with his arms, clinging to him in emotional, wordless desperation. Brian tightened his grip on him, resting his lips against his ear as he whispered,
"She's going to be alright. I just know it."
"I need you," Justin said in a tightly controlled voice as Brian stroked his hand through his hair and kissed his cheek, his temple, his forehead, his mouth. Their lips touched, opened, pressed, inhaling the essence of the other. For the first time since Justin left New York, they both felt complete.
"You have me," Brian said when the kiss ended, moving his hands down to cup Justin's firmly rounded ass.
Jennifer cleared her throat to announce her presence, and Brian reluctantly released Justin. "Molly seems to have been put under your spell, Brian. If you're sure..."
"Go. We'll be fine."
"Come on, Mom," Justin said, smiling at his lover. "She's the wrong gender to be under any real threat from the Kinney charm."
"My charm crosses all gender barriers," Brian retorted, waving them away as he returned to Molly.
Justin felt guilty as he entered the hotel room with Brian. He hadn't left his mother alone at the hospital often, and it didn't seem right for him to be seeking a romantic rendezvous with Brian when Jennifer was suffering and Molly was so sick. As soon as he locked the door, Brian walked over to Justin and put his arms tightly around his waist, lifting him off the floor and walking him backwards to the bed, where he threw him down on the mattress. Standing over him, he removed his sweater and jeans, feeling Justin's eager gaze as if it were a caress. Naked, already erect, he crawled over Justin on all fours, posing above him like a lion over an antelope, leaning down to kiss him hotly.
Justin kissed him back, eagerly, letting go of his guilt as passion overtook him. He squirmed out of his sweats, wanting to feel Brian's naked flesh against his own skin. Brian kissed his face, his chin, his jaw, his neck, supporting his weight on his arms and occasionally rubbing his erection against his belly. Justin reached down to enclose his hot cock in his fist, pulling gently at it as Brian moaned and nipped his left nipple between his teeth. He dropped down to fellate Justin's turgid erection, realizing he was not good for a long session. He was too close to the surface. He intensified his sucking and within minutes, Justin found release deep within the confines of Brian's mouth. Brian looked up at him and smiled.
Justin smiled back, stroking Brian's cock more rapidly. "You seem a little edgy yourself."
"Not like that," Brian insisted, retrieving a condom and lube, flipping Justin over to admire his firm rump. His tongue traced the base of his spine, forced its way into the clenched crease of his ass and probed for the tight hole he wanted to possess. Justin groaned with pleasure as Brian's tongue hit home, penetrated, poked. Brian withdrew, replacing his tongue with fingers slicked with lube, opening him up and preparing him for his entry. Condom in place, he positioned Justin by raising his ass in the air, holding his head down on the bed by placing a hand on the back of his neck. He moved up behind him, guiding it in with his free hand. His eyes closed in ecstasy as he felt his penis slide up that snug,slick tube that enfolded him so tightly. The feeling it created was pure bliss. He went into his fuck mode, stroking, stroking with increased intensity and building urgency.
Justin got hard again, and he jerked at his erection as Brian pounded into him, providing a delicious pressure against his prostate and making him feel as if he were one with Brian's body. They fucked in perfect rhythm, and then Brian cried out as he shot, the waves of pleasure rolling through him with the force of a tsunami. Justin shot too, and they collapsed together on the bed, gasping. Brian suddenly had to pee, and when he returned, he gently slid an arm under Justin, realizing with a disappointed sigh that the exhausted young man had fallen asleep. Brian let him rest, knowing how badly he needed it. He snuggled close to his body, his eyes closed, wanting to sleep, too. But it was too early and sleep was not his friend. Finally he gave up and dressed, leaving a note beside the bed and turning off the light, slipping his cell phone in his pocket as he left.
"Oh my dear precious God, this is the ONE!" Emmett said eagerly, fixing his gaze on a tall, elegant young man who entered the diner, snuggled deep into an alpaca overcoat. Ted turned and looked beyond the very handsome Jeffrey to the very pretty Brian, dressed in leather and denim. Emmett saw Brian too, and sighed. "Just like I always say. The pretty boys dance with the pretty boys."
"Is dance a new word for it?" Ted queried as Emmett raised himself in the booth and waved eagerly at Brian.
"Brian! Brian! Over here!"
Jeffrey looked from the tall, effeminate young man to Brian and smiled. "Friend?"
Brian winced. "Loosely speaking. Come on. The queen demands an audience."
Emmett stood and hugged Brian tightly, as Ted reached around him to shake his hand in greeting. "We've missed you, sweetie!" Emmett declared as he let him go, but his eyes were on Jeffrey. Brian smiled wryly.
"Over here, Em. This is Dr. Jeffrey Walker. Jeff, Emmett Honeycutt and Ted Schmidt."
"A DOCTOR!" Emmett exclaimed, clapping his hands with glee, as Jeffrey laughed.
"Just Jeff is fine. May we join you guys?"
"Try to get away!" Emmett exclaimed, moving over to the other side of the booth in a lightning smooth gesture so that Jeffrey would sit beside him. Brian laughed at that ploy and slid in beside Ted.
"Oh my God, it's my long lost son!" Deb abandoned a tray and rushed over to Brian, leaning over to leave a crimson lipstick imprint on his cheek and smother his face in her ample bosom. As much as he protested, Brian was happy for her greeting. She used her zaftig ass to scoot him over so she could join them in the booth, squeezing him against Ted. "How are you, honey? Mikey said you were so sweet to him in New York! The little prick is still shacked up with Ben. Can't be bothered to say hello to his mom. You'd think they'd been apart for a world war! Where's Sunshine?"
"Asleep," Brian responded. "He's exhausted."
"Of course he is! The poor little thing. So devoted to Molly. Oh god, now I'm going to cry again..." she sniffed and finally regained control. "I'm so glad you came to visit. He's missed you so much." She let her gaze land on Jeffrey, as if just now noticing him. "And who is this?"
"Jeffrey Walker," he extended his hand across the table and Deb shook it with some obvious reticence.
"He's a DOCTOR, Debbie!" Emmett beamed, and she looked interested.
"Are you that New York doctor Jennifer raves about?"
"I'm from New York, yes," he said modestly and Deb smiled, instantly warming to him.
"Well, your dinner is on the house. You've been an angel to her and to Molly. And you, Brian Kinney," she kissed him squarely on the cheek again, leaving a second imprint. "I am so glad you and Justin are together again. I never did like him with...well, you know who."
Ted and Emmett shared a glance while Brian nodded. "Yeah, I know who, Deb."
"Anyway, he never stopped loving you, that's obvious."
Brian looked at Jeffrey and smiled sheepishly. Jeffrey met his eyes briefly, and then stared down at his hands. Ted and Emmett exchanged another look, taking it all in. They ordered when Deb resumed her waitressing duties, and Brian reached over and covered Jeffrey's hands with one of his. Jeffrey looked up. Brian raised a single brow in a questioning gesture, saying nothing. Jeffrey smiled and moved their hands so that Brian's was between his. Ted kicked Emmett under the table just as Emmett kicked Ted.
"So, catch me up on the dish," Brian said, leaning back and removing his hand from Jeffrey's grip as Emmett and Ted stumbled around, grasping at any gossip that might be as compelling as what they had just witnessed.
Over dessert, Brian's cell phone rang, and he answered it immediately, smiling when he heard Justin's voice. "Hi there." They all listened to his lopsided conversation in silence. "You were sleeping too soundly to wake you and I was starving. At the diner, of course. With Em and Ted. They say hi. Uh, yeah, him too. He wanted to see it. He's heard so much about it. It's ok, he's a doctor, he knows how to treat ptomaine poisoning." Jeffrey winced as Brian went on. "Want to join us? Want me to bring you something then? Sure, no big deal. What do you want? The usual? Ok, we're finishing up. I'll be there in fifteen. Uh, yeah. You too. Bye." He hung up and stared at Ted and Em with stony disinterest. "What? He was tired! I'm going to go up to the counter to order him some food. Finish up, Jeff. We'll be going."
Jeffrey watched Brian walk away, the telltale twitch in his fine jaw giving away his irritation. When he felt the others watching him he covered it with a smile. Brian returned with a sack of food and put some money on the table. "Ready, Jeff?"
"I'm not going."
"What do you mean?"
"Just that, Brian. Ted and Emmett were nice enough to invite me to go to a couple clubs with them and I think I will." He met Brian's silent disapproval with a slight smile. "You have a problem with that?"
Brian gnawed on his inner jaw, then said, "No, fine. You want to go to the clubs, go to the clubs. You're an adult. Have fun. You can get a cab back to the hotel."
"Exactly," Jeffrey said, as Brian waved at his old friends and left the diner, carrying Justin's dinner in his tightly clenched fist.
|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