It takes a lot of breathless convincing to get Emmett to take him back to the loft, but it's worth it, even when Emmett drops him unceremoniously on the bed after an unnerving seven mile silence that isn't boding well for Justin ever getting Emmett to help him with anything again.
Justin doesn't groan, but only because he can't find the breath. Slowly, painfully, he rolls onto his stomach, burying his face in sheets that last saw a sleepy and somewhat pliant Brian, a novelty in itself, being carefully and methodically seduced into quiet sex. It's a comforting smell, if he's honest, and Justin just wallows in it, since right now, it's pretty much the only good thing in his life.
God, he hurts. Oh man, does he hurt *everywhere*.
Faintly, Justin can hear Emmett in the bathroom, muttering to himself, and it'd be so much cuter if Justin wasn't pretty sure his name was being coupled with some anatomically impossible situations, even if Justin *is* really flexible. A few long, blissful seconds of not-moving, but then Emmett's pounding footsteps-or is that Justin's head?--break through and he's rolled onto his stomach in the cruelest move since they canceled *Gay as Blazes*.
Justin blinks up at Emmett. "You know, I like you as a friend and all, but don't you think it'll ruin our friendship if we--"
"You--shut up." Dropping on the bed, a novelty in itself, since Justin is pretty sure this is probably the one place that neither Brian nor Emmett *ever* imagined Emmett being for any reason, cold fingers jerk Justin's coat back and somehow pry it off with a surprisingly little amount of shifting. Wow, Emmett's not bad at this undressing other people thing. "I just want to check the damage."
"You'd say that if your ribs were splitting your skin open, honey. Just shut up and let Nurse Emmett take over."
Shirt, gone. One day, Justin's going to ask Emmett to demonstrate this undressing technique to him. "Kinky," he murmurs as Emmett's fingers brush along his side before gently rolling him back on his stomach. He hears Emmett hiss. "That bad?"
"How long is Brian going to be gone again?"
Justin snickers. "Only a few days. Don't worry."
"You can say that, Sunshine. You're not the one that's going to be blamed for damaging Brian's favorite toy." It's followed with slow, careful rubbing, and the sharp scent of the muscle relaxant being rubbed into his back is almost as good as the rubbing itself. Justin sighs blissfully, forcing himself not to wince every time Emmett hits a sore spot.
"He'll understand." Emmett snorts his opinion of that one, and Justin opens one eye, wincing. Even low lights aren't helping, and his head *hurts*.
"No, honey, he really, really won't. Maybe we should go to the hospital--"
Only the firm hand on his back keeps Justin from sitting up--that and the fact that light flashes brilliantly behind his eyes when he moves. Groaning, Justin drops boneless. "No. No hospitals."
"I mean it." Even to himself, Justin knows his voice sounds way too harsh, but he can't help it, and he can't explain it, and he won't even try. "There's some Advil in the cabinet."
"Allergic to codeine." Justin closes his eyes, taking a breath between his teeth. "Though if you have any morphine handy, I could deal with that."
Emmett snorts something that doesn't sound like a word and continues to rub along his back. "Where's the Advil? Extra strength, I hope?"
"Above the fridge." Justin feels Emmett's weight shift and leave the bed, letting him sink further into the mattress. A few long minutes pass, and Justin can just hear Emmett moving around, turning on the faucet, turning it off, then quick footsteps coming back and the dip of the bed as Emmett sits down again.
"Think you can sit up?"
Does he want to? Taking a bracing breath, Justin rolls carefully onto his back, then begins to brace his hand behind him, but the very act of moving it sets off another round of spasms. Before he can even think through it, Emmett's scooting up behind him, gently raising Justin and bracing him with his own body before cupping a hand in front of Justin's mouth. "Take them, honey. Got the water right here."
"Don't need it." He drinks anyway, though, to erase the powdery taste of the pills, and Emmett lays him back down on his stomach just as gently, reaching over to take his right hand. Justin doesn't mean to wince away, but he does anyway, and Emmett completely ignores it. Strong, hard fingers massage into the abused muscles, and Justin squeezes his eyes closed.
"Shh, baby, it'll be okay." He wasn't even aware he was making noises. Justin keeps his eyes closed, content with the fact that while everything reporting in hurts, at least it's at a lower range of sheer, unrelenting pain. Probably the fact he's barely eaten all day has something to do with that. Advil hitting him like a hammer.
"Do you think you can sleep?"
Justin thinks about it for a minute. "Yeah. Just lock the door when you go, okay? Brian will kill me if I forget again."
Emmett says something, but Justin doesn't listen. It's a killer he regrets desperately, but he slowly shifts his way up the bed, head finding the soft of the pillow effortlessly, and he lets himself just dream a little. It's not Emmett wandering around the loft, but Brian, and he's not fired and isn't extremely broke, and Justin, feeling fanciful and also like he deserves it, throws in a good rainstorm outside, and hell, if he's going to go gothic romance and all, covers the entire loft in vanilla scented white candles.
Somewhere in the back of his mind, he can hear Brian laughing hysterically and deliberately tunes him out. It's not like you're allowed to mock my fantasy life in my own *head*, dammit.
"Jesus, what does it take? Did the entire moving out thing not sink in? Or is the litterbox starting to get ripe?"
"We need to talk about this. I know--I fucked up. I completely fucked up. I'm sorry. I don't know any other way to say it. I'm sorry."
"They're just words. They don't mean anything. I'm sorry, Justin, get in the closet, my career's more important. I'm sorry, Justin, I forgot and accidentally fucked this guy, but my dick's more important than a stupid promise. Got anything else, because this is all old material."
"Just listen to me."
"I love you."
"That's not enough."
"Then what the fuck would be enough?"
"When I figure it out, I'll find someone who can give it to me. That won't ever be you. Now leave me the fuck alone."
*"When did you know?"*
*"That you wanted to be in advertising. I mean, was it like, this huge revelation or--"*
*"Fifteen shots of vodka and a stripper who went by the name Flash. Bad stripper, but gave good head."*
*"You're not serious."*
*"I don't know. Am I?"*
*"I don't know. I enjoyed it. I was good at it. It's not like I had a spiritual epiphany during an acid trip."*
*"See, that I'd believe"*
*Brian laughs sleepily and Justin shifts up on one elbow to look down at him, grinning. It's so rare to see Brian like this, especially now, but he's all softened edges and warmth, the complete anti-Brian, exhausted as shit and not even bothering to hide it. Those nights pacing the floor and fucking his mind out finally catching up. Eyes half-closed, completely sober, and three hours away from an airplane flight that may change their lives. *
*Without even meaning to, Justin lowers his head, brushing his lips against an exposed shoulder, that place just below the dip of his collarbone. There are all these places on Brian's body that make him twitch just like *that*--places Justin's found with tongue and lips and fingers, inch wide swathes of skin, secrets only he knows, that he'll be the only one that *ever* knows. *
*I know you, he voicelessly whispers into Brian's skin, closing his teeth over bone, softly enough to leave only the lightest indention of his teeth behind. He's done more, once upon a time, when he'd leave the lines of his fingernails on Brian's back, the imprints of his fingers and his mouth and his teeth for any trick to see. This reminder, maybe to the trick, that you may have him now, but only as long as it takes him to come. Maybe to Brian, that you can go anywhere and do anyone, but I'm always going to be there, too. *
*Justin's not really sure. *
*"Shh. Let me." He doesn't want words. They only get in the way, slip into spaces they don't belong, and he doesn't need them anymore. Pushing himself up on both arms, staring down into drowsy hazel eyes, Justin leans down to brush the shortest kiss over soft lips, Brian's fingers curling in his hair. He shuts his eyes and draws his tongue down--the elegant line of Brian's throat and the satiny skin on his chest, the hard stomach. Has to grin when Brian's fingers tighten, opening his mouth to graze his teeth over sensitive skin. "Let me." *
*Let me do this, let me have this, let me have *you*. Words just get in the way. Justin says it when he swallows Brian's cock, says it when he skids his nails against the silky skin of Brian's inner thighs, making him shiver and open for him, says it when he sucks and makes Brian gasp his name on an indrawn breath like he just found God. *
*He learned in this bed, with this man; knows what it takes to make Brian beg and twist and arch, knows he's the one addiction that Brian can't ever give up again. *
*He opens his eyes to watch, knowing Brian's lost in what he's doing to him. I know you, I've always known you, and you can go anywhere and do anyone, but you'll never be free of me. Love's just a word, New York is only miles, and age is just a number. I'll never let you go again. *
Justin falls deeper into sleep, bathed in the scent of vanilla.