BETWEEN THE SESSIONS
Ok, here it is. Thanks to Alan who edited in Darren's place because I couldn't find Darren and I'm an A personality type who requires instant response which is why everyone hates me. Thank you, Alan. SO...the plot continues to sicken. Enjoy. R.
Jennifer awoke from a recurring nightmare in which her daughter was drowning, screaming for help. Jennifer was just yards away from her, but the water was gelatinous, and she couldn't move in it, just struggle and watch Molly sink. She didn't need a shrink to explain this one to her. She bolted out of bed in the guest room provided for families of critically ill children. Justin slept in the easy chair, undisturbed by her exit. She took just enough time to don her mask and gown, and then ran to Molly's room. Brian was at the door. Compassionate nurses had placed a chair nearby, so he could sit down occasionally without leaving his self-appointed post. Molly had endured a tough twenty-four hours and her struggle had taken a toll on them all.
Jennifer looked in to make sure nothing had changed. Molly seemed to be sleeping soundly. Relieved, Jennifer sighed and placed a hand between Brian's shoulder blades. "Go lie down in the room, Brian. I'll sit up for awhile. I've had some rest."
"Craig came by about an hour ago," Brian said quietly. "He didn't want to wake you. He went in to see her, but she didn't wake up and he didn't disturb her rest." After Brian's flare up with Craig, something Brian's mother said to Craig after Brian escaped from the confrontation had enabled Brian and Craig to reach détente. Craig let go of some of his anger towards Brian in order to concentrate on his anger at fate for infecting his daughter. Brian hadn't asked his mother what she said, but he knew how persuasive she could be. He had no confidence Craig's fury towards him wouldn't return later. He really didn't care. The future suddenly felt very murky to Brian.
"Good, I'm glad he was here. Please go lie down. You must be utterly exhausted."
He glanced down at Jennifer. It was strange to carry on a conversation while wearing masks. They looked like alien ventriloquists. "I'm fine."
Jennifer took his hand and halfway pulled him from the door and into the hall, where they both removed the claustrophobic masks. She noticed how tired he really looked, his handsome face pale, with dark circles under his eyes. She placed a hand on his cheek.
"Brian, thank you."
"Everything. But mostly for what you've done for Molly. I appreciated how you were there for Justin, when he was in need, but I knew you were his lover, so you had every reason to be concerned. Molly is really no one to you, except for the fact she's Justin's sister. And yet you're as responsible for doing all that can be done to save her life, as is Justin, for donating his bone marrow."
Brian looked puzzled. "How do you figure that?"
"You found Jeffrey. You brought him here. He worked around the clock last night, as you know. I swear she would have slipped away if not for him. She was so close to the edge and he kept ordering remedy after remedy to bring her back. Finally, it all came together. She's here today because he wouldn't quit, no matter what curve he was thrown. He was incredibly tenacious. At one point in time, one of her other doctors said it was no use. He seemed to have forgotten that I was in the corner of her room when he said it. Jeffrey blew up at him. He ordered him out of the room. Later, I heard him yelling at him in the break room. He was telling him it's never too late, not until they call time on a patient. Until that moment, they must do absolutely everything they can to save the person, even if it doesn't seem possible that the patient can pull through. He is such a fighter, Brian. He is so determined to have it turn out the way he wants it to turn out. I find that incredibly compelling. It's one of the main reasons why Molly is with us today."
Brian sighed, well aware of Jeffrey's determination to have things his way against all odds. "He is an incredible doctor," he said quietly and she smiled.
"And you brought him to Molly. Don't you see how big that is? I would be hopeless if Jeffrey wasn't here, distraught. I don't know what I would do! I made him go to the doctor's rest area and get some sleep. Like you, he was just going to stay up and keep going, but we need him fresh and with all his brilliance sharply honed. He is a national treasure, Brian. One of the heroes."
Brian grimaced. "All I did was introduce him to you, Jennifer. He did the rest. I deserve no credit."
"Well, I may not have all the facts, but Justin very clearly told me that you are the reason Jeff is here and why he stays. He must be a very good friend."
Brian nodded, saying nothing. It was clear to him that Jennifer had no clue about what was going on, nor should she. She had more than enough to worry her. She didn't need to worry about her son's love life as well.
Jennifer squeezed his shoulder. "Besides that, you've given so much of yourself. You know how Molly loves you and seeing you here has been a real boost to her morale. She can't have her favorite toys in isolation due to the germ issue, so she has to find her comfort in other ways. Having you here is one of those ways. Thank you so much, Brian," she kissed his cheek. "Now take care of yourself. Get something to eat and then lie down. Justin's still sleeping. Take a clue from him."
Brian smiled wryly. "He's a growing boy."
"So are you. I'm serious. I'm worried about you. The last few days have been hard on everyone. The wear and tear is obvious, Brian. Go get some rest. I promised Joan I would make you crash after this crisis."
Brian nodded, still not accustomed to having a mother who cared. He walked towards the room, feeling weighed down by what Jennifer intended as a compliment. Her praise for introducing Jeffrey only enhanced what he already knew. He had to keep Jeffrey involved with Molly's treatment, no matter what the personal cost to himself. Brian watched Jeffrey work during Molly's crisis. He had to put aside his anger and sense of betrayal over Jeffrey's treatment of him, to acknowledge again how good he was at what he did, and how dedicated he was to her recovery. Even the nurses commented on how brilliant he was and on his kind bedside manner. Somewhere, in his darkest heart, Brian wondered what Jeffrey was thinking. If Molly recovered, did he believe Brian would stay with him? If not, and if he truly wanted Brian, wasn't he working at cross-purposes by healing her? But then, the same was true if he died. All Jeffrey really had was Brian's word. And his arrogant belief that given time, Brian would want to stay.
Brian didn't let his mind go far down that road. Nothing made sense anymore. He couldn't let himself think about the future, he just had to focus on what needed to be done now.
In the room, Justin slept soundly in the chair and Brian smiled as he watched him rest. He looked like a child, all the worry of the last day relaxed in slumber. Brian walked over to him and let his fingers drift through Justin's pale hair in a sweetly familiar gesture. Justin stirred but didn't waken. Brian gazed longingly at the bed, then shook Justin gently. He awoke, groggy. "Get in the bed. You'll be more comfortable," Brian insisted. Justin allowed Brian to lead him over to the bed, but he grabbed his hand when Brian tried to walk away. Brian gazed down at him, questioning. Justin simply lifted the covers in silent invitation. It was a single bed, too narrow for two men.
Brian hesitated, but exhaustion crashed in on him, and he dropped beside him, his back to Justin, spooning to conserve space, still wearing his shoes as well as all of his clothes. With the simple comfort of Justin beside him, he closed his eyes and within seconds, he was asleep.
Three hours later...
"Have you ever seen anything sweeter than that?" Debbie Novotny whispered to Michael and Ben as they peeked into the room. Michael grimaced at the image of Brian and Justin snuggled together in a non- sexual embrace. They were still sleeping in the same position in which they started. Jennifer had returned to the room to doze in the chair while her ex-husband watched over Molly. Ben motioned for them to withdraw, and Debbie obeyed, turning to her son when they were alone in the hallway. "How can anyone see those two together and fail to realize the fact that they are meant to be a couple?"
Michael frowned. "Hello? I'm with Ben now, Mom. I don't care if Brian's in love with Justin. Can you just let it go?"
Debbie smacked the side of Michael's head as Ben laughed. "Ow! What was that for?" Michael protested and she shook her head.
"Not you, you mope! I'm talking about that fucking Jeffrey." Since the plan had been revealed, Debbie couldn't say Jeffrey's name without adding "fucking" to it.
"Not here!" Michael insisted, covering her mouth with his hand and bringing back a large red imprint from her lipstick. "You never know where he may be or Brian or Jennifer might hear you."
"Brian might hear you say what?" Brian came from the room, his hair sticking up, face unshaven, the picture of a man who needed more sleep. Debbie and Michael looked stricken, but Ben remained cool.
"Nothing Brian, we were just saying you need rest."
Brian didn't buy it, but decided not to press the issue. "Any change?" He meant in Molly's condition.
"We just got here. Honey, eat this," Debbie opened a box of fresh pastries. "Vic made them for all of you, and the nurses too. Have one. I know you like cherries. There's a cherry turnover in there with your name on it."
Brian and Michael exchanged a smirk over her saying that Brian was fond of "cherries", a buzzword for "virgins". Even in the worst of times, their adolescent humor tended to surface. "Thanks, but I'm not hungry, Deb."
"Really? Let me put it this way, Kinney. Either you eat it on your own, or I'll force feed your skinny ass! Vic went to all the trouble to make them. At least eat one!" Debbie went into her controlling mother mode.
Brian surrendered. The still warm pastry was delectable once he got started on it. In fact, he ate another, tensing as Jeffrey sidled up behind him and pinched his waist. "Fat and sugar, not the best way to maintain that slim physique, Bri." Unlike Brian, a few hours of rest made Jeffrey look as if he had just returned from vacation. He had showered in the locker room provided for doctors, and was clean shaven. Debbie, Michael and Ben saw the look of resignation on Brian's face as Jeffrey insinuated himself into their group. Michael squeezed Debbie's hand tightly to restrain the anger he saw bubbling beneath her superficially benign surface.
"He could stand a little meat on those bones," Debbie said with admirable restraint, and Jeffrey smiled.
"He is perfectly equipped in the meat department," his double entendre fell flat and Brian glared at him.
"How is Molly this morning?" Brian asked Jeffrey.
"Improved. Her temp is down, her vitals are a little stronger, and her kidneys are functioning. The blood tests will tell us more of the story when we get the results, but I'm encouraged."
"Thank God," Debbie made the sign of the cross as Brian sighed.
"Thank Jeffrey. He worked his ass off for her last night," Brian had to concede.
Jeffrey smiled and kissed the back of Brian's neck, causing him to shudder. "You're sweet, but we have a team dedicated to Miss Molly. I'm just part of that team."
"False modesty doesn't become you, Jeff," Brian insisted and Jeffrey shrugged.
"Really? I thought humility became everyone."
"Only if it's genuine," Ben interrupted quietly. "And I'm sure yours is, Jeff. Why wouldn't it be? Certainly you don't buy that old adage of doctors as gods."
"Of course not. Excuse me, do I know you?" Jeffrey inquired of Ben.
Ben stuck his hand out to be shaken. "I'm Ben Bruckner. A friend of Brian's. And Justin's, of course."
"I see. Mikey I know. But Ben is a NEW friend of Brian's."
"It's MICHAEL," he seethed as his mother nodded her approval.
"What do you do, Ben?" Jeffrey ignored Michael. He was no more than a gnat on a rhino to Jeffrey. But something about Ben interested him.
"I'm a professor at Carnegie-Mellon."
"Ah," Jeffrey responded with a wry smile. "An intellectual." He made it sound like a disease. Ben nodded.
"That's right. A bookish man."
"Without a bookish body," Jeffrey said with a smile. Brian glared at him. Things were bad enough without Jeffrey flirting with his best friend's boyfriend. He sensed it was deliberate, a jibe aimed at Michael.
"I'm going to look in on Molly." Brian wasn't up to Jeffrey's intrigue.
"You do that, then I'm taking you back to the hotel, Brian," Jeffrey responded. "You need a shower and some serious sack time."
"I'll go to the hotel when I'm fucking ready!" Brian responded and Jeffrey smiled coolly at him.
"Of course. Whatever you say, baby."
Debbie tensed at the endearment rolling off Jeffrey's tongue, angered by the obvious distress Brian was feeling under Jeffrey's control. Her son squeezed her hand again as Brian walked away, towards the isolation area.
"You'll have to tell me all about your field of expertise sometime, Ben," Jeffrey said with a smile. "I admire an intellectual mind."
"I'd be glad to," Ben responded, ignoring Michael's glare. With that, Jeffrey said goodbye and walked in the direction Brian had gone.
"The fucking nerve of that fucking Jeffrey!" Debbie exploded and Michael nodded.
"He's such an asshole. Did you see how he just CLAIMED Brian? It was disgusting!"
"No," Ben said softly, watching Jeffrey retreat. "Not disgusting. Frightning." He had felt the power of Jeffrey's game in their one brief exchange. Jeffrey was not only smart and handsome, but he was skilled at breaking into relationships and scavenging for a thrill. Ben knew he had been cruised, and he could put aside his personal disgust long enough to realize what a powerhouse Jeffrey truly was. His fear for Brian increased. "Who much time do we have?"
"Two weeks," Michael responded, and Ben shook his head.
"I'm afraid that may be too long to wait."
Michael wrinkled his nose at his lover in confusion. "But it's YOUR plan, Ben. You're the one who thought it through."
"And a damn good devious fucking mind you have, Ben, if I say so myself," Debbie beamed at him, and he shrugged.
"That was before I met Jeff. Now I think I may need to go back to the drawing board and enhance our defenses. He's a powerful foe."
Michael leaned into Ben's iron bicep and said, "You ARE doing this for Brian and Justin, right?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean this has nothing to do with your own...umm...PAST with Brian, does it?"
"Of course it does, Michael. It was my so called 'past' with Brian that made me feel close enough to him to help me understand what's happening here."
"Let me live long enough to meet one handsome fag Brian Kinney has not fucked," Debbie mused, and her son glared at her as Ben repressed a smile. It remained unsaid that her son had never been granted Brian's sexual favors.
"I want you to tell me you aren't still hung up on Brian," Michael insisted and Ben shrugged.
"I will if you will."
"Good one!" Debbie said with a laugh, but Michael didn't find it funny.
"What's that supposed to mean? Are you hung up on Brian?" Michael insisted.
"Are you?" Ben countered.
"Is the Pope Polish?" Debbie quipped, then smiled as Justin came from the room, looking adorably rumpled. He took a pastry as Debbie kissed his cheek, after foraging in the box.
"Where's Brian?" He mumbled, mouth full, searching for a new pastry while still eating the last. He looked from Michael to Ben and sighed. "Are you two fighting over Brian again?"
"I don't fight," Ben responded. "I discuss. And yes, we are discussing Brian."
"We're discussing the fact you're still hung up on him after one lousy weekend in Florida, a hundred years ago," Michael groused, as Justin smiled.
"That's one weekend more than you've had, Mikey," Justin quipped as Ben winced and made the blade across the throat signal at him.
"You stay out of this, Sunshine! If you hadn't left Brian for that skank then none of this would have happened," Michael reminded him.
"I'm not going through that again," Justin said, holding up a hand, palm out, as if to stop him. "I'm with Brian. I love Brian. Brian loves me. Get the fuck over it."
"Amen and from your lips to God's ears," Debbie proclaimed, kissing Justin on the cheek as Michael frowned.
"I am 'the fuck' over it, Justin! I don't give a rat's ass about you and Brian. I just want Brian to be happy. I'll wait for you in the car, Mom," he threw a final glare at Ben who sighed.
"Aren't you going after him?" Debbie insisted, and Ben shook his head slowly.
"I know you love him and you mean well, but you'll just have to let me handle this one, Debbie. I know how he is, and what he needs. Trust me."
She beamed at him. "I have such a smart son in law. He's wrong about that Brian thing, isn't he?"
"Yes, Debbie," Ben said softly. "He's wrong about that Brian thing. I care for Brian but not the way Justin does."
"THANK you," Justin said enthusiastically, tired of all the hidden agendas swirling around his lover.
"But we need to talk, Justin. I met Jeff. I have some ideas about the battle plan."
"I'm going to look in on Jennifer while you boys play army," Debbie said, then added. "But if you change my part, I need plenty of time to get it right, so don't keep it to yourself. And don't cut me out, either. I knew Brian before there were White Parties, Ben, and before Justin was even born. He's my big, impossible kid. No matter how I may act around him, I love that boy and he knows it. I insist on being part of this."
Ben kissed her cheek. "Deb, you're the star," he said with a kind smile and put his arm over Justin's shoulder, leading him to a quiet place to talk.
Brian left isolation, thrilled by the little wave and a wan smile he got from Molly. It was the first interaction she was able to grant in over twenty-four hours, and he believed it was a better sign that she was improving, than the story told by the bloodless black and white statistics they tracked so minutely. He went looking for Justin and found him with Ben. They were seated on a couch in a waiting area. They were talking quietly, almost intimately, and Michael was nowhere to be seen. Brian felt an unreasonable surge of jealousy as he walked over to them and interrupted.
"Isn't this a cozy scene?"
Both men looked up and Justin appeared confused. "What's wrong?"
"What could be wrong? Where's Mikey?"
"In the car. He and Ben had a fight."
"It wasn't a fight," Ben corrected him. "It was just silly. Sit down, Brian."
"You know what? I'm getting tired of people telling me what to do. Your sister waved at me, if it matters, Justin." He walked away and Justin looked at Ben in confusion.
"What's up with that?"
"He's exhausted, Justin. Go after him. Take him away from here for awhile. I'll run interference with Jeffrey."
Justin impulsively leaned down and kissed Ben's cheek. "You're too good for Novotny," he teased and Ben smiled.
"I know. I'm just biding my time until I can have you."
Justin laughed. "I'm not the member of my dynamic duo that you want, but you can't have him. He's mine."
"Remember that, Justin. When things get rough. He's yours. Don't lose sight of that fact."
"Never," Justin waved and walked away, as Ben prepared to distract Jeffrey if he came stalking Brian.
Justin slipped his hand between the elevator doors just as they were closing. Brian looked up, frowned. Justin stood there in the gap, until the buzzer started, then stepped in and hit the stop button when the car began to descend. "What are you doing?" Brian insisted and Justin smiled.
"Ever done it in an elevator?"
"Don't be stupid. I'm going downstairs to smoke. You can work off your Ben boner on your own."
"Sorry," Justin said, mischievously squeezing the bulge at his crotch. "But this definitely has the feel of a Brian boner to me."
Brian tried not to smile. "You know they have cameras in elevators, brainiac."
"Then let's give them a good show," Justin dropped down to his knees, and unbuttoned Brian's jeans with slow deliberation.
"Are you nuts?" Brian insisted half-heartedly as Justin reached in and freed his penis of its denim imprisonment.
"No," Justin responded, stroking Brian gently, then lifting the half- erect shaft towards his waiting lips. "Just hungry."
Brian closed his eyes as he felt Justin's soft, full lips make full contact with the head of his cock. He allowed him to sex him up, lifting his sweater so Justin's hands could wander his torso and pec's. When he felt the intensity begin, he pulled Justin to his feet and kissed him deeply on the mouth while he loosened his clothing.
On the fifteenth floor, the bored security guard turned towards one of the elevator camera screens, expecting to find the usual scene. Patients in wheelchairs or walking bags of IV drips hanging from racks, visitors with flowers or balloons, a few bored staffers in white coats and sensible shoes. Sometimes he got lucky and saw some doctor pinch some nurse on the ass, or vice versa, but seldom any more than that. Until today. Hoo boy! They may be faggots, but he always had a secret yen to see what it was faggots did to each other, and DAMN! They were beautiful and as naked as the day they were born!
Their clothes were all over the floor and the tall one had the blond one slammed up against one wall, holding both his wrists in his hands as he drove his long, wet cock up his ass in a steady rhythm. Watching his lean butt contract and relax with each thrust above the long, strong line of his legs was highly erotic. When the tall one released one hand for the blond, and the blond began pulling his own hard cock, the guard decided to follow suit. No one was around, so what the hell? A quick whack to get his heart started.
Watching Brian and Justin fuck was inspirational, even if he was straight. The guard keyed on Justin's sweetly beautiful face, contrasting it with Brian's rugged good looks. The blond came first, splattering the fake woodgrain on the wall with his semen. Then the tall man finished with a shudder, followed almost immediately by the guard, who was their silent partner in this caper.
"I love you," he read the lips of the tall one, and the blond responded, "I love you, too, Brian."
The guard felt a little guilty when he realized these boys were more than just fucking for his viewing pleasure. They shared something, that was clear. He watched them dress, then smiled as the blond looked straight at the camera in the corner and rubbed his tongue rapidly across his lips, following that gesture with an exaggerated kiss. The guard laughed. "Kiss to you, too, cutie," he said aloud. Then they were dressed, and the elevator was made active again. They left when they reached the first floor, holding hands as they walked out of view.
The guard sighed and went back to his tedious job, deciding this was one security tape he just may have to dupe for his personal collection.
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July 25, 2004