I need a favor. A big favor.
The cupboards are bare.
There's an entire nursery rhyme devoted to this kind of situation, and if Justin remembers correctly, it involves a dog, but imminent starvation is slowly eating away at his Mensa-level IQ, and he's pretty sure he's going to die right here and right now, cold, hungry, and alone, surrounded by nothing but guava juice and poppers.
"Close the fucking fridge already."
Ah, the charming love of his life, from under a pile of blankets, where he'd retreated the second Justin had mentioned food. Who may be buried, but is using his special Brian-sense (similar to spider-sense, but useful only when tracking Justin and hunting down tricks) to figure out what he's doing. Justin thinks the only reason the refrigerator didn't join the long list of saleable items was that Brian couldn't figure out what he'd do with his drugs if it was taken.
Closing the door, Justin turns around and looks at the pile of bedclothes unfavorably. "I'm going to starve, you get this, right?"
Brian makes an extremely rude noise that Justin refuses to dignify with a response. Crossing the room, he trots back up the stairs and drops on the side of the bed. "Are you aware that the human body requires a certain amount of calories to function per day and dropping below that critical number can lead to--"
"If I fuck you, will you shut up?" Brian's bitching would be a lot more effective if he came out from under the covers.
"If you fuck me, I might start calling out the names of the four food groups." It's a possibility. Justin woke up this morning from a dream involving sautéed mushrooms and grilled steak. Hard. Very, very hard. "We need food." Justin thinks for a second. "And lube."
That brings Brian out, offended. Nothing quite like implying that Brian's been behindhand with the sex paraphernalia. "We do *not*."
"Mint flavored." Possibly because Justin threw them out before Brian woke up this morning in a fit of desperation. It could be enough.
Brian drops back under the covers and Justin breathes out. I love him, he thinks steadily, I love him a *lot*. He hopes that's enough when Brian starts looking less hot and more--edible.
Stretching out, Justin thinks of tactics and Napoleon, and the fact that Brian doesn't eat, he absorbs energy from others via sex, or at least, that's the conclusion Justin's come to, and doesn't that make scary amounts of sense? "I'm going to the grocery store alone, then."
"I'm using your last credit card."
Yeah, like Brian cares. Justin's often thought he should one day give his speech about how Brian's like Jesus, with the entire non-worldly-goods thing and maybe work in a Moses reference in regard to Liberty Avenue queers (he's been working on this for a while), but he's saving that for a really special occasion. Like on his birthday, if Brian tries anything even *close* to what he pulled last year.
"I'm buying junk food."
A stir. That's encouraging.
"Pigskins. Potato chips. Onion dip. Frozen deep fried shrimp. Fried chicken. Frozen pizza" Justin's stomach murmurs in protest at the tease, but these are desperate times. "Chocolate-chip cookie dough ice cream and fudge syrup. Whole milk."
Brian doesn't move, but shock may be setting in. Leaning closer, Justin pitches his voice carefully. "And Brian--I know what you're like when you get stoned."
So ninety five percent of the time, Brian's a sexual vampire. That other five percent of the time--that would be, while stoned--Justin thinks it's lucky he escapes with his fingers still attached, and he remembers that one panic attack when Brian went down on him looking awfully hungry in a completely scary non-sexual way.
Brian's head appears disturbingly fast, eyes narrowed. He knows he's being manipulated, but he also knows that yes, Justin *will*. Because he's just that kind of boyfriend.
Justin takes a deep breath and plays his last card. "I hear that marshmallows are on sale."
It's sad that the victory makes him want to dance. He'll do it while Brian's showering. Quietly.
Brian occasionally used to use a grocery service before Justin decided to become a non-removable part of his life, and after the second time he moved in, Justin had taken over shopping duties in a kind of desperation for real food. Ethan had shopped for them, badly, and it may say a lot that there were nights when Justin had thought longingly of Brian's refrigerator when he was faced with what Ethan thought artists should eat.
Jesus Christ, chocolate and vegetable Ramen for a meal? Humans kill and eat their mates when confronted with that sort of shit.
The cart, like Brian's current living room arrangement, is minimal, since Brian insisted on veto rights and man, Justin should have just come alone. Celery sticks. Lettuce. Mint lube. Whole fucking wheat germ bread that Justin knows from experience tastes less appetizing than cardboard. Brian's at his porn-movie-cliche-best--jeans, wife-beater, unbuttoned shirt, and sunglasses because he still has a hangover and keeps getting distracted by the ooh shiny principle, the shiny being various guys who have no business being in a grocery store early on a Sunday morning and certainly not looking that fucking hot.
Because Justin is Enlightened, he is no longer at all jealous.
Smiling, Justin nods at Hot Guy Four and kicks the back of his knee as they pass. He goes down with a satisfying whimper, which is just cool.
Justin's also Not Stupid.
Brian lets the sunglasses slide down his nose in Classic Hot Pose of Amusement, and yes, it's effective. Justin gets hard from the fact Brian breathes, though, so no surprise that his first instinct is to pull his shirt farther down and head for the frozen foods aisle. It won't help, but at least staring at the frozen deep fried shrimp will remind him why he's here, and no, it's not to see if the sink in the bathroom can hold his weight.
Besides, he already knows it can.
Shit. Cold thoughts.
Brian nods absently, attention caught by air particles, apparently. Did he drop acid last night?
"Brian." He once compared being around a high Brian to babysitting Gus, but that's only mostly true. Same attention span, same passion for new things, but it's kind of worse, because you can't put Brian in a playpen to keep him out of mischief and he can make Justin come just by talking, and yes, he's done that, and yes, he's done that in public, and no, they're not adding The Grocery Store to the list of places Justin will never, ever, ever be able to frequent again.
He still blushes when he walks by the dry cleaner's, for God's sake.
Justin has the credit card. He has control of the basket. What he needs is something to distract Brian long enough to put actual food in this cart before they end up in the papers after Brian Kinney's unfortunate demise and barbecuing by insanely hungry boyfriend.
Wow. With that kind of platform, Stockwell could run again.
Distract, distract-- "Cheese."
Brian looks at him. "What?"
Justin has no idea. *Cheese*? "We need cheese." Somehow, his voice infuses it with the kind of longing that before today, he'd only had regarding really spectacular blowjobs and greasy triple cheeseburgers from the diner. Mmm. Grease....
"Brian, this isn't food. It's what we feed food before we eat the food. We need cheese." His stomach's leading him, right to dairy, God, dairy, milk and cheese and so much wondrous, delicious filling-ness of it all, maybe stuck between some horrifyingly fattening white bread and slathered with mayo.
It's probably just wrong on new levels that he's *this* close to orgasm imagining a sandwich. Justin sucks in a slow breath and soldiers on. So close. So very, very close.
Brian follows, probably because he has nothing better to do, or maybe because Hot Guy Five is currently stroking mozzarella in *such a juvenile pick-up way just a few feet ahead of them. Yes, this is going great.
The basket shudders to a stop when Justin's feet freeze in place, and from the corner of his eye, Justin can see Brian stopping as well, attention drawn from the sexual connotations of cheese-fondling to see what's caught Justin's attention. It's all a big blur and this is not hell, this is not hell, this is the grocery store and Justin's last ditch effort at avoiding cannibalism.
See, I originally wrote this and some more for the grocery store challenge, but I hated, with the passion of a thousand jealous Michaels, the entire bit after this. I'm blaming I got on a angst streak *just* as I was trying to write it, and it turned out bizarre. So I killed the rest of it.
Now. Um. Anyone just read that and feel deeply inspired to write the ending? *hopeful* Please? With sugar on top?
You know, considering all that trauma I'm going through, with the badfic and the job and the--er. Um. I'll think of more trauma.