An achingly slow kiss in an alley that tastes all wrong, alcohol and unfamiliar sweat, a taste that makes him sick, slicking his tongue with a greasy film that makes him pull back, hand jerked from too-tight vinyl pants, green eyes and dark hair, surprised and drunk and high, and he steps back with a stumble over rotting garbage and a gasp. Wiping a hand across his mouth and remembers Ronnie, looking at him like that, with that expression of puzzled hurt *what did i do wrong, why are you doing this, what do you want?* and he thinks he knows the answer.
He's got to fucking *stop* this. Back inside isn't any better than the place he left, but at least it's somewhere to go.
He dressed for this tonight, slut in silver glitter and old leather that shapes to him like his skin, and he stopped wearing shit like this so long ago that the slide of leather had felt like nostalgia. Impulse he wants to think, but that's a lie, it's been a lie that he can't quite admit even now.
Dark and hot and crammed full of bodies, desperation closing around them like a box. Stockwell's doing great work. Justin finds the bar without even trying, taking the offered shot with a flick of his wrist. He thinks he can face the world with the burn of beam in his mouth.
Brian's like always, picking and choosing through willing sacrifices, and he's doing it harder than Justin can ever remember, making Justin think that all that grown-up responsibility shit and the campaign he's running are catching up with him every night. Justin watches for a lot of reasons, masochism probably rating high on the scale, but also because it's hot, because maybe he can't touch Brian but he can imagine it when he watches.
It doesn't last, the watching; it can't. He doesn't have that kind of self-control. He's never *had* to have it. Brian conditioned him in sex, what he wants, how he wants it, and no one's ever gotten it perfect even by accident, made it dirty-hot and sweet, something to wallow in and lose himself in, and no one does it like Brian and maybe no one ever will.
Sometimes, it feels like his grace is running out, and he's not even sure what that means. Marking time has to stop, he has to decide, but the problem is, he's not sure what he's deciding anymore. It's Chicago or Pittsburgh, but the truth is uncomfortable, because it's more than that. It's running or choosing, and he's still not sure which one he's doing.
The streets flash with more blue than he's ever seen before, unfamiliar men on patrol, caught from the corner of his eyes, this feeling of being watched when it's silly, why would they? That doesn't change the way his skin crawls every damn day, this expectant, uncomfortable feeling of waiting for something, though he's not sure what. Stockwell's fingerprints are pressing into places they've never been before, and he hates the feel of them working their way into every part of his life, every part of this street.
Liberty might be running out of grace as well.
Not tonight, though. It's been two weeks since he stepped foot in Babylon and damned if anything is going to fuck around with his head tonight.
Shaking his head clear, Justin leans into the bar, tuning out the low voice of the man beside him--cheap, porn-class words that don't even register on the scale. Talking dirty and making it work is art and this guy knows shit. Easier to shove his tongue inside that mouth to make him shut up, but Justin still tastes the alley beneath the beam, so all he can do is listen and sip his drink, watching Brian's art in action.
The one tonight's a too-pretty blond, maybe younger than Justin, maybe not, and he follows Brian like a puppy on a leash, all wide eyes and soft, vulnerable mouth. He'd wonder about that, if he was just a little less drunk tonight, a little less high. Jamie went back hours ago, someone tall and dark and not-Brian, and Justin spares a second for unreasonable hatred. He's too drunk to be here, and too sober, too. There's a lot of times he's been able to blame on bad impulse control, but this isn't going to be one of those times.
Justin pushes off the bar, downing his drink in a burning swallow, ignoring the trick that had his arm wrapped around his waist, who makes an incoherent sound he doesn't pay any attention to. It's not his style, but so far, his style hasn't gotten him much of anything he wanted. He's going to try something new.
He remembers the night he left Ethan, before Daphne told him, seeing Brian only feet away and the feeling of it, brand-new and achingly familiar, like slipping back into his skin and finding it still fit. Remembers how it felt to have Brian looking at him like that, like there was no one and nothing else between them, not two tricks, not a space of feet or time or mistakes. Just them, just this. The one place, maybe the only place, that everything ever fit. And God, did it fit, coming with Brian's name clenched between his teeth, nails breaking against the wall when he dug them in, wishing for flesh to mark and touch and breathe.
He waits just long enough, watching when Brian bypasses that neat, pretty mouth, licking up the line of his throat, hands beneath the kid's shirt, and then he moves, ignoring the bodies around him because they don't matter. The kid has just enough time to look up before Justin pushes him away, maybe a little too rough, but he doesn't really care. "Fuck off."
"Hey!" Justin tunes out the light voice, facing Brian, who doesn't look terribly interested and more than a little high, and that make things easier. He knows everything about Brian when it comes to sex.
"Fuck me." He murmurs it against a warm throat, sliding his hands into the waist of Brian's jeans, nails scratching a slow line up his spine. He feels the shiver, tilts his head up to see dark, glazed eyes and that incredible mouth, goes up on the balls of his feet to lick across his lips.
A hand on his chest stops him short.
"Not on the mouth," Brian murmurs, and Justin stops, just for a second, fast forward through memory. Not on the mouth. Not after three. No names.
"You can now." And he must have forgotten more than he thought, because Brian tastes amazing, God, long fingers wrapped in his hair, the hand on the small of his back, pushing in the waist of his jeans. Justin wonders how he ever needed drugs--he's almost laughing he's so high. "Come on, Brian." He gets a hand between them, knuckles grazing hard cock beneath the denim, takes a breath before dropping to the floor, one hand on Brian's hip to hold him in place. Opens the jeans just enough to get his hand inside, and Brian murmurs something that sounds like his name. Justin glances up once, wide dark eyes watching him, and he wonders if Brian knows it's him.
Going down is like breathing--he settles on his heels and swallows effortlessly, taking Brian in his throat. Fingers close in his hair, and he loves this part, how Brian holds on like he might just get up and leave if he gets bored, though he never has. Pulls back enough to lick around the head, let the air cool supersensitized skin, goes back down when Brian shudders. He's close, and Justin can take him there so easily. Rhythm and heat and that taste, uniquely Brian, that he can't ever forget, coating his tongue and he sucks harder, pressing one hand up to cup the swollen sack, squeezing just once and sucking hard.
Yes. This. *This* second, where Brian comes and he's Justin's, just from his mouth and his hands. Justin works him down slow and easy, drawing out the lethargic warmth. The softness. The peace. The place he can breathe again.
When he stands up, Brian jerks him close, kissing him, sharing that taste like they've done a thousand times before, warm, fast tongue and hunger he can feel like tiny needles pricking every inch of skin, saying, yesyesyes fuck everything else, he *has* to.
He has to.
"Let's go." He gets why Brian's always so hot after he lands accounts. Winning is an aphrodisiac like nothing else. He pulls, and there's a second where he thinks Brian just might try to resist, and he's ready for that, but he's ready for this, too, when Brian nods, slow and still drugged from orgasm. Pushing Justin into the wall when they get outside, taking his mouth like he's starving, and Justin wants, God, enough to do it right here on the street, fuck Stockwell and his pretensions to be mayor, a night spent in jail, it'd be worth it, so fucking worth it.
The cold wakes him up a little, sharper looks, but Brian doesn't say anything, maybe not wanting to damage the fragile peace between them, and Justin's okay with that, because talking will get in the way.
It's the first time all over again, deja vu, walking in and feeling the differences that two years have made, the same sense of Brian around him like a coat. Tossing his jacket over a chair he doesn't recognize, Justin watches Brian go to the refrigerator, ever the responsible drug user and making sure he's well hydrated.
But it's *not* the first time, it's this time, and Justin tracks him, coming up to lean against the counter behind him, watching the slow, sinuous movements of muscle beneath his shirt, so hard he thinks he might be able to come just watching Brian drinking a bottle of water. Just watching Brian turn around and look at him, like he's not entirely sure it's Justin standing there.
"Why are you here?"
There's a lot in his voice that Justin's not sure of, but one thing he is, and that's the important part.
"To get fucked." Justin licks his lips, watching Brian's eyes fix, breath catching.
"You think you can just come running back?" And Brian sounds honestly curious, and of all times for him to get thoughtful, this is just not it. Taking a step, Justin watches Brian not even try to move away. Backed into a refrigerator door, a streak of glitter across his jaw from Justin's skin. He's too high to fight, but not too high to forget.
It'll happen like this.
Bent over the counter, because it's not the first time and he's not a virgin, almost no leverage with only his toes brushing the floor, cheek pressed to the cool surface of the counter, Brian's mouth pressed to the back of his neck like he'll eat his way through Justin's body if he has to. It wants to be casual, but it can't be, not with Justin fingers laced through Brian's, sinking his teeth into warm skin so he won't scream the entire building down when he comes.
He'll spread himself out on Brian's bed, bathed in pale orange light, and watch Brian strip, careless of expensive silk and unruly zippers, pushing his own fingers up his ass, desperate to get ready, to *be* ready, to get this one thing back, one familiar place in a world that changed too much too fast. He'll feel Brian wrapped all around him like his own skin and come breathless and shocky, feeling it in every nerve, stealing air and thought and everything but Brian's name on his lips.
He'll close his eyes and Brian's hands will be cupping his face, he's seventeen and falling in love for the first time with the first kiss. The way that Brian will fit against him like he's just made for this, for Justin's fingers to touch and explore and need like air. He'll listen when Brian talks with his body, tells him everything he's ever needed to hear and know what he's always wanted to have is his, and that he can have it all.
It won't be this.
His hands won't shake and his throat won't close, and he won't, he won't, he won't--
"Tell me you want me to stay."