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by Randall Morgan

Chapter 19: Brian's POV

I awake with an elephant standing on my chest. Is the three weeks up? Is he demanding his day in court? I hear the familiar wheeze Justin makes as he sleeps beside me and I turn my head to look at him. We're in an unfamiliar room, lying in a gauzy fairytale of a bed. The celadon green silk coverings on the wall depict intricate, colorful butterflies. A beautiful room, with an Adams plaster ceiling, the delicate ropes of flowers gilded with what has to be real gold. A freshly-made fire burns in the hearth. A peaceful room, like heaven might look, but the pain I'm feeling sends heaven out of reach. Not severe, but nagging, a low warm throb across my chest. I look down to see the bruise, darker than before, and spread so far it wraps my ribs. Holy shit.

I remember trying to breathe and feeling that there was nowhere for the air to go. My lungs were compressed under a tremendous, invisible weight. I recall the taste of my own blood and how close death was to taking me away forever from this blond who sleeps with his back cuddled up to my side. My eyes fill with tears, not from fear over my own mortality, but for the abject loneliness of the grave, for the wasted years that we could have had together. I'm not ready to give up that time with him. Not for any reason.

I feel too weak, too pained to have sex, but I plant my lips on his throat, feeling his pulse beat against my mouth, absorbing the power of his physical presence. "I love you," I whisper even though I know he can't hear me where he is now. I just have to say it. He's so beautiful, so smart, so loving, so sexy. I sigh, thinking again, for maybe a million times, of how a child composed of both of us may look. A girl? What the fuck do we know about raising a daughter? Justin insists the baby has to be female, but I think he got that wrong. I've done some research on my own, and I don't think the gender is limited.

But is the gender really my concern? No. Is it the risk that something could go horribly wrong during this largely untried experiment? Partly. Our lovely child becomes a genetic mutant, haunting the rest of our lives with special needs? Are we big enough to shoulder that kind of burden? Am I? I'm basically pretty selfish. And then there's the donor woman, the surrogate womb. Do we want that intrusion in our lives? The risk that she would go back on our agreement and demand some role in the child's life?

Is that it, Brian? Is that what really concerns you most? No. To be honest with myself, and only with myself, I don't want to share Justin, or my life with Justin. Not with anyone, not even our child. He has a claim with Gus, and I'm fine with that. We'll always be collateral in Gus's life, because of the way the lezzies want it. But this child would be in our lives all of the time, every day, in our home, in our faces. Everything would change. Out of necessity, it would change. No longer would we be Brian and Justin. We'd be Brian, Justin and Baby X. I don't want to give up a piece of his heart to Baby X. I don't want to give up this life we've built around each other. I'm a selfish son of a bitch, and that's what bothers me most about this whole fucking baby idea.

There, I said it, if only to myself.

But then...what about him? How important is it to him? Justin doesn't do things on a whim. He's thought long and hard about this, and not unrealistically. He knows how hard it will be and how it will change things, and yet he steadfastly believes the changes will only bring us closer. He believes we have enough love to share with a daughter and still have the same amount left over for each other. How can I deprive him of something he wants so desperately, if I truly love him? Just because I'm a selfish bastard?

He turns over, facing me, squints his eyes open and smiles. "How do you feel?"

"Sore, but okay."

"I'm hungry."

"Of course."

He giggles. "I know it's a human failing in me that I eat, occasionally."

"I forgive you," I lean over and kiss him, noticing he smells good, different, something citrusy. I mention it and he explains it's the bath salts provided by our host. As he lifts his hand to run it through my hair, I grab it and look at a ring on his hand.

"What the fuck?"

He stares at it and sighs. "Fiachna."

"What about him?"

He explains the whole mirror episode. I've gotten beyond believing powerful hallucogens are causing all this insanity. I smile slightly. "So you're engaged to my grandpa?"

He laughs. "I don't think it symbolizes that, Brian."

"What did he look like, full on? I never got a clear look at him."

"Like you, only different. Same hair, same basic face, his eyes are gold, tilted kind of, and his skin is also sort of golden-hued. But he has your body, your hands, your smile. Eerie."

"At least he's not judgmental," I quip and he laughs.

"The whole same-sex thing really doesn't seem to register with these creatures."

"Of course not, they're fairies."

We both laugh.

"Help me up, Justin. I have to piss."

He escorts me to the bathroom. My legs feel as wobbly as rubber. He braces an arm behind me, his cheek pressed to my shoulder blade as I piss. He then begins to fill the huge tub with water as I stand before the mirror, taking in the full extent of my injuries. The image causes me to shudder. That bruise takes up most of my torso, and there's a shadow of a bruise under both eyes and my lower lip is puffy from where I must have bitten into it. I press my hand to the glass, but no relative appears to comfort me. "I look like shit," I whisper and he sighs and leads me to the water.

"It doesn't matter so long as you're okay."

The water is soothing, the tub so big I can stretch my lanky body out completely with room to spare. It's scented like his skin and he stretches out beside me, using a soft, natural sponge to delicately wash over me without hurting my bruises. Watching him, I begin to feel aroused, despite my condition, and he smiles as he sees my dick lengthen. I smile back. He soaps up his hand and encircles my cock, stroking gently. I close my eyes, letting it happen, feeling the blood fill the tissues with steel. He leans down and slips his tongue into my mouth. I suck his mouth exchanging spit as he pumps me into a quick ejaculation that leaves a skim of jizz floating on the surface of the water, eventually sinking in silky ropes of DNA. He smiles and raises himself to his knees, on either side of my head, offering me his hard dick.

I lean forward a little, using my hand to steady it as I glide it down the warm enclosure of my mouth and throat. He places one fist on the tiled wall, the other hand buried in my hair as he bones my mouth until it pours out of him in a few salty gushes of pleasure. I drink him down, wasting nothing, enjoying the slick texture against my throat as it glides down.

"Who's your daddy?" I tease as he leans down to kiss me, tasting himself against my tongue. He smiles and kisses my lips.

"You my daddy, Brian."

My hands slide down the firm rise of his ass as I respond, "That's right, and don't you ever forget it." It's just a little jokey endearment between us, but we like it.

"I never will, Brian. Never."

I hug him as close as I can without causing my wounds too much agony.

My clothes, freshly laundered, have been returned, folded on the satin settee. While we were in the tub, someone came and left a silver tray of coffee, sticky buns, fresh fruit and granola. I'm as hungry as he is, and we devour this food and then dress, in the clothes we wore last night. The door opens easily. Puck, the little red-haired guy, is seated cross-legged on the floor in front of our door, practicing a tune on some pipes. He grins at us.

"Big doings last night!"

Man, these fairies gossip more than the queens at Babylon. We follow him downstairs and into Ariel's office. Our host is packing papers into a black Hermes briefcase. He is dressed in white leggings and a long white suede tunic, his golden hair loose about his shoulders. He casts a silvery gaze on us. "The car's out front. Take it to your hotel. Use the driver as you wish for as long as you stay in Dublin and when you're ready to come home, let him take you there. He knows the way. Don't delay too long, Brian. Every day you wait, your bairn loses vitality."

That again. "Where are you going?"

"Trooping, with my kind."

"What does that mean, exactly? You're leaving us here?"

"I may be back when needed, but I have to troop. Come home, Brian. Time's `a wasting."

"You have to let Gus go," I reiterate, and his silver eyes glaze me with heat.

"Enough with your demands. Things are the way things are. You control your bairn's fate and no one else."

With that, Ariel left the room, trailed by a flock of pixies. Puck gives us a wink and goes with them. When we walk into the hall to find them, they're gone, vanished. What door they went through I have no idea, but there's a somber looking man on the staircase to prevent our exploration, should we be that brave. We aren't. We pile into the limo, glad to be out of there and give the driver the hotel address.

"What do we do now, Brian?" Justin seems as lost as I am, but I have no answers for him.

"I think we contact Ronan. I want to talk to that badger."

"That what?"

"You know, that professor she brought over. He looked like a badger."

Justin laughs and closes his hand over mine. "That's a relief. Given everything else that's happened, I wouldn't be surprised to see a talking badger."

"Yes, that would be mild."

"What are we trying to accomplish, Brian?"

"We'll get Gus released, first, and then...fuck if I know. But I think I need to come home for it to be over."

"But where is home?"

I shake my head, wishing to hell I knew.

Go to Chapter 20

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