DISCLAIMER: QAF and its characters are the sole property of Showtime and Cowlip Productions. No copyright infringement is intended.
Justin?" Brian dropped his suitcase down onto a nearby chair as he called out for his partner. What had possessed him to purchase such a gigantic monstrosity of a house, he wondered, as his voice echoed around the foyer? Oh, yeah...the man he was currently trying to locate.
He glanced around at the opulent Christmas decorations currently displayed everywhere his eyes could reach. When Justin had wheedled him into agreeing to 'make their home more festive looking for his son's sake' (in his partner's words, and after a particularly vigorous round of sex), he had never anticipated what he was currently viewing: a Normal Rockwell scene on steroids.
The imposing, wooden staircase that led up to the second floor was bedecked with thick, lush garlands wrapped around the bannister, with white, twinkling lights interspersed among the red berries. Stockings were hung from golden hangers perched on the fireplace mantel in the study where he had first introduced Justin to what would eventually become their home. When he had first expressed interest in purchasing Britin for his partner, he had never anticipated the consequences of what the fireplace mantel would be used for. He had only thought of a nice, thick, luxurious rug laid out in front of a roaring fire - something maroon or navy that would contrast with a certain, beautiful blond's body that was laid out before him, ripe for the taking. Of course, Justin was always up for the occasion, fortunately. The three stockings currently dangling from some kitschy elf hooks with his, Justin's, and Gus's names written in gold glitter on them, however, had NOT been part of his grand vision.
Mistletoe was hung above every doorway - a not-so-subtle invitation for some serious rounds of tongue-fucking. He smirked; at least he most certainly could willingly participate in that tradition. He sighed; since when did he control this household - or relationship - anyway? Truth be told, he had lost control of it soon after Justin had entered his life like some tenacious piranha and had refused to let go. He had to smile; he had never wanted him to anyway, he supposed. He loved the damn man much too much now to ever think of him not being in his life.
His partner HAD been somewhat disappointed with him regarding one aspect of their Christmas together this year, though; by now, Justin had practically any item an artist could possibly conceive of owning. For the first few years, it had been a simple matter of buying his lover the highest quality brushes, the most expensive easel, and a supply of paints and graphite pencils that would make a rolling Craftsman tool set look like a child's toy in comparison. He had completely remodeled one of the more sun-drenched bedrooms into a state-of-the-art studio where Justin could paint to his heart's content, complete with all the graphic software anyone would ever need, and the latest tablet to use it on.
So, what else was there to buy him? Justin still bought clothes that were almost bohemian in nature; the man still really had no fashion sense whatsoever - and didn't care. In a way, Brian admired that; Justin stuck to his...ahem...values when it came to clothes and everything else, no matter HOW out of date his choices might be. And as an artist, his admirers just thought of his eccentric taste in clothing as an extension of his work. Brian supposed that was one of the things that he found so endearing, but also infuriating and frustrating, about his partner: that he was his own man, and made his own decisions.
Hence, he had given up this year on finding something suitable for Justin as a gift, opting, instead, to just hand him his American Express gold card and instructing him to buy whatever the hell he wanted. By now, he could afford even a private plane if that's what Justin decided. But he knew he would never be comfortable buying something so outrageous; his partner was much too practical for that. Brian scowled at the sound of the word. Practical HE was not. Tasteful and good at budgeting his vast holdings and income? Yes. But 'practical' was just...boring.
Justin hadn't liked the idea of such an impersonal decision on Brian's part, but with a heavy sigh and knowledge that Brian would be Brian, he had accepted the outstretched card with a cryptic retort of, "Well, then, don't blame ME when I buy MY present with YOUR card, and you don't like it!"
Brian rolled his eyes over the memory, scowling when he called out Justin's name again, and receiving silence in return. Shaking his head, he wandered over to the monstrous, 7-foot artificial Christmas tree nestled in a corner of the foyer by the staircase (thankfully Justin hadn't opted for a live one), grudgingly admiring his partner's sense of artistry and symmetry. He had to admit; it WAS beautifully arranged, using a theme of silver, white, and blue, complete with glittery icicle ornaments, ball ornaments of all shapes and sizes, perfectly tied silver-and-blue bows at precisely placed branches, and even gossamer butterflies tucked in various spots around the tree's perimeter as if they were about to take flight. A large, blue-silver-and-white bow was tied to the top, with its two ends trailing down the tree on both sides, with small, miniature, white lights making the tree sparkle. Yes, for an instrument of commercial intent, the tree was stylishly decorated. Of course, with someone of Justin's caliber when it came to art, he would have expected nothing less.
Fastidious to a fault, Brian frowned suddenly when he noticed the bow at the top was slightly tilted to the left. Even though it was barely discernible to most, it had to be precisely straight, or Brian knew he wouldn't be able to stand it.
Tugging at his tie to loosen it, he pulled it over his head, and slipped his suit jacket off to carefully drape both over the back of a nearby chair. Walking over to the hall closet, he reached in and grabbed the folded-up, plastic stepladder and returned to the tree, extending it to lock it in place before he grasped the top handle and stepped onto it. Even though the ladder was only four feet in height, with his tall frame he had no trouble reaching the top of the tree with expedience.
He was about to reposition the bow to straighten it when he thought he heard a faint sound coming from somewhere nearby. "Justin?" he called out. But again, there was no response. Sighing in exasperation, he turned back to his task...and almost fell off the ladder when a pair of large, green, glowing eyes stared back at him through the pine tree branches. "Mrowwww?" was the plaintive cry.
"Ahhhh!" Brian screamed in surprise as he frantically grabbed onto the frame of the ladder to keep from falling, doing a perfect imitation of Leia in The Empire Strikes Back when she had been hit by a mynock. What the fuck?!
"JUSTIN!" He yelled out, looking back at the same spot where he (hoped) he had imagined the luminous eyes staring back at him, and sighed in relief when he didn't see the mirage anymore. Thank God; it must have been due to how tired he felt after having worked so many hours on his most recent campaign. Straightening out the bow and tying it tighter to hold it in place, he slowly descended from the ladder, just in time to hear his partner coming into the room.
Holding a dish rag, Justin wiped his hands with it to remove as much of the flour he had just been using for a recipe he wanted to try. "I thought I heard you in here. What were you shouting about? I heard you all the way back in the kitchen!"
Brian pointed over at the tree as he descended the ladder. "Up there...I thought...it was staring at me..."
Justin held back a laugh, highly amused by Brian's inexplicable lack of glibness, which didn't happen too often. "You want to try that again?" he asked; he peered over at the ladder next to the Christmas tree, which hadn't been there before. "What is the ladder doing in here? I finished decorating the tree." Suddenly, he noticed a paw reach out and bat at one of the shiny, globe ornaments on the tree. His eyes quickly flashed back to Brian as he quickly tried to hide his alarm.
"Your bow was crooked," Brian explained. Justin grinned despite himself over that statement, recalling their passionate tryst in front of the fire last night, where his lover had decided to decorate HIM for Christmas with some of their leftover felt ribbon.
"You didn't complain last night," he replied with a smirk.
"Not THAT bow!" Brian responded. "The one on the fucking tree!"
Uh, oh...Justin cringed. He had an idea he knew what was coming, but he waited anyway. "So you were straightening it up, and cut your finger on one of the needles?" he ventured, desperate to divert Brian's attention. "Poor baby. Come into the living room, and I'll make it all better," he practically purred, using his most seductive voice as he walked closer to his lover. He unbuttoned the top two buttons of Brian's shirt to expose the smooth, bronzed skin underneath and slid his hands up his chest to cup Brian's face. Giving him a quick kiss, he whispered, "Come on...I'll go get the massage oils, and..." He groaned inwardly as another 'mrroww' suddenly emerged from the tree behind him.
"Huh...huh? I TOLD you!" Brian exclaimed in triumph. "There's something alive in that tree!"
Justin sighed as he turned and walked closer to the tree, spying what he was looking for near the center. "Munchkin! Bad boy! Come out of there right now, you rascal!" he gently reprimanded as he pulled the kitten out from the tree's inner branches. "You gave Brian quite a scare!" He pried the feline - which looked like a Corgi on legs to Brian - out from inside the tree and rubbed the kitten's head against his cheek, which made the animal start purring louder than a motorboat.
"Justin! What the hell?" Brian exclaimed, aghast. "Where in the fuck did that THING come from? And exactly what IS it? Is it deformed?" The gray-and-white kitten had tiny ears that lay against his head, and very short legs.
Justin held his breath for a few moments before explaining, "No, it is NOT 'deformed.' It's a Scottish Fold kitten. They're supposed to look like this." He cradled the kitten against his chest as he asked Brian with a radiant smile, "Isn't this the most adorable pussy you've ever seen?" He held up one of the kitten's small, front paws and waved it at his partner as if the feline was saying hello to him.
Brian snorted. "Well, you have me there," he snarked. "But I try to look at as few pussies as possible." He shuddered, both at the thought and at the creature now eying him warily. "And don't try to change the subject! What is that cat doing in my house!?"
Justin huffed. "First of all, it's OUR house, remember? At least the last time I looked. And second of all, you threw your credit card at me and told me...and I quote... 'Just go buy whatever the fuck you want, Justin. You've got more artist supplies than MOMA, and I've given up on trying to properly dress you, so just go get whatever you want. You know I'm not good at those things'." He shrugged. "So, this is what I wanted...Munchkin." He held the kitten out with a hopeful look toward Brian, who promptly shrunk back.
Brian held his hands palms up as he shook his head vehemently. "Uh, uh...I am NOT touching or holding that ball of fur!" His words sunk in as he realized in dismay something else. "Justin, that fucking cat will shed everywhere! What were you THINKING?" He shook his head again as he gazed around the foyer before peering back over at the squirming animal still being held out between them. "And look at those claws! He'll..." he paused as he wondered if it was a he or a she before he got a good look at the underbelly of the beast. Yep. Male. "He'll scratch up all the furniture! Not to mention the staircase, the bookcases in the library, the windowsills...Fuck! And I'll have to keep my closet closed at all times, or he'll rip my Armanis to shreds!" His mouth hung open; he was still in shock. He wished he was in bed, imagining all this, but he knew he wasn't. "I can't believe you went out and bought a CAT!"
Justin cradled the kitten once more against his chest, almost protectively this time, as he replied quietly, "If you had bought me a present, I wouldn't have bought THIS one." His watery eyes blinked as he licked his lips to wet them. "And this was what I wanted. He can keep me company in the studio while I paint. And I bought him all kinds of toys to play with to keep him busy, so he doesn't chew up the furniture...and a self-cleaning litter box, and a cat bed, even though cats are nocturnal and like to roam during the night when we're asleep. And I put scratching posts near where he would be tempted to scratch up our furniture. And you can get their nails clipped regularly..."
Brian sighed as he brushed his fingers through his hair in frustration. "If he's nocturnal, that means he will most likely be coming into our bedroom and disturbing our...our sleep (and other things, he thought) while we're in bed. Surely, you're not going to tell me that you'll keep our bedroom closed at all times? One little meow in the night, and you'll be up faster than your cock at the Jingle Bells Ball at Babylon."
That earned an eyeroll from Justin. He knew it was going to be a hard sell to his partner when he had purchased the kitten, but ever since he had met - and lived - with Wolfram, he had realized how much he loved having a cat around (even though its owner had turned out to be less than stellar, to put it mildly). He had never really revealed that yearning to Brian, but when he had spied this unique-looking ball of fur online, he had fallen in love - for only the second time in his life - and knew he had to have it. "Brian..." He wasn't beyond pleading, even begging, despite how unmanly and desperate it would appear. "This was the only thing I wanted for Christmas. I promise I will keep him out of your hair - and your clothes - and will take care of him completely. You won't have to worry about a thing (that earned a skeptical scoffing sound from Brian), and I won't let him sleep in our bed, or even come in our bedroom."
"Damn straight you won't! The only thing coming in our bedroom better be ME! Well...and you..."
Justin paused, trying not to get his hopes up too much, but that didn't sound like an out-and-out refusal to him; at least he hoped so. "No," he reassured him. "He won't. Two humans are enough for our bed. No other males allowed. Human or otherwise."
Brian's eyes widened in concern. "Males plural? There aren't two, are there? Because if there are..."
"No," Justin replied hastily. "Just Munchkin here." He waited as silence prevailed; he could hear the thought wheels practically turning in his partner's head. "Please, Brian? Look at him. And feel his fur; it's so soft. And he's a short-hair," he added quickly, "so he won't shed as much."
Brian tentatively stuck out his hand and caught some of the fur between a couple of his fingers. He had to admit; he was soft. But it didn't matter. It was still a cat...or would be. A kitten seemed worse to him than a full-grown cat. "Just how big will that cat get, Justin? I don't want you spoiling it so much that he turns into Porky the Pig."
Justin giggled, feeling more hopeful by the second. His heart soared, too, over the fact that Brian was willing to allow this major adjustment in their lives, simply because he loved him so much. He knew in a way it wasn't fair, but he also had been prepared to regretfully return the kitten if Brian absolutely forbade it. "No porkers. Got it. Strictly dry food, and only a few treats...on occasion. Plus, he'll have enough toys that he'll get a lot of exercise. You can even train them on a leash to go for walks," he advised.
Brian's eyes narrowed in doubt. "Walks?" Justin nodded. "Well, don't have that animal bringing me any mice or birds to lay at my feet in homage; I get enough offers from other pussies as it is." He shuddered; he couldn't step into a grocery, bank, or any restaurant without getting the onceover from at least one woman who had the hots for him. If only THEIR straightdar worked as well as his gaydar, they would know they were wasting their time.
Justin grinned. "I promise to pry any mice or feathers from Munchkin's jaws before we come back into the house after his walk." He laughed at the look of disgust Brian displayed at the thought before he asked anxiously, "So...can we keep him?"
Brian shook his head and closed his eyes briefly as he gazed upward for some divine help...anything, wondering how a certain, little blond had wormed his way so deeply into his heart that he could never refuse him whatever he desired. Something told him it would always be that way. He sighed heavily in resignation. "Yes, you little wheedler; YOU can keep him." He held up his hands again as Justin moved to jump into his arms...along with a fur full of kitten. "But I'm warning you...keep him away from ME! I haven't changed my clothes yet! And keep him out of my study AND the bedroom!"
'Yes, sir!" Justin dutifully responded with a one-armed salute before carefully placing the kitten onto the ground; Brian groaned as the kitten promptly climbed back up into the tree. A few seconds later, a royal blue ornament began to swing back and forth like a pendulum, a paw jabbing at it playfully.
"Damn it! Why does he keep doing that? What was that; like, two seconds? Shit."
Justin shrugged. "Because he's a cat; whether it's a kitten or a lion cub, they have a hunting instinct. He thinks he's playing with his prey."
Brian snorted. "No, he's not. He's playing with his balls...just like ANY respectable male does." Justin grinned as Brian decided, "That cat is going to be the death of me...or YOU. Can't you give him some catnip or something?"
"I don't have any catnip. Besides, it doesn't have any effect on kittens until they're at least three months old."
Brian placed his right hand on his hip as he glanced around the room. "Well, I have some weed stashed somewhere around here...maybe the library."
"Brian! You can't feed a kitten marijuana! It can make them lethargic, depressed, nauseous..." Justin counted off the adverse effects with his finger, stabbing it into his palm.
Brian's mouth hung open; his lover never ceased to amaze him. "You researched the effects of weed on cats?"
"Yeah," Justin admitted sheepishly. "I KNOW you, remember? It's not good for cats."
Brian sighed. "I can't believe this," he murmured, not able to believe that he had once again given in to a beautiful, cheeky blond PSA that he just couldn't shake. He shook his head. "Well, go grab the little ballplayer, and lock him up. I'm in the mood for playing with some balls myself."
Justin smiled back at him radiantly now, realizing he had been triumphant. "I'll take him upstairs to the Feline Room and put him in his bed, along with some toys. That'll keep him busy for the night."
"The Feline Room..." This was getting more and more bizarre, Brian decided. "He has his own room?"
Justin nodded. "Yep. It's not like we don't have enough rooms. And just think: Gus is going to LOVE playing with him when he comes to visit!"
"Well, I'll call tomorrow and see when their plane gets in for Christmas. I think he'll fit in their carryon baggage on the way back."
The brunet held up his hands in surrender. "Okay, Okay...get the fuzzball out of our fucking tree, and lock him up...in the Feline Room. I'll be taking a shower...and I expect you to join me."
"Oh, really?" Justin asked wryly.
"Yes, really...and don't take too long. You're going to give ME a present in exchange for that one...All night long."
Justin giggled. "Sounds equitable to me. How about I come downstairs after putting Munchkin to bed, and start a fire while you're showering instead? I've got a new thong to model for you that you can take off me."
Brian's cock immediately took notice of that statement as he replied, "You've already started one," he groaned as Justin chuckled. "Fine. But be quick about it. You won't be wearing it for long," he vowed, earning a smirk from his blond.
Justin reached once more to pull the kitten out of the tree, Brian now noticing a red collar around the kitten's neck with a single jingle bell attached to it, as he waited near the steps. Muttering under his breath about what a damn pushover he could be, he began to follow Justin up the steps, the kitten clutched in his partner's arms while he whispered nonsensical things to him. As he ogled the delectable ass directly in front of him - currently clad in a snug pair of well-worn, paint-stained jeans - he realized that at least one thing was certain: life would never be dull with his own, not-so-little tomcat around to spice things up.
A/N: I'd like to dedicate this story to lindc. lindc, I received your message, but cannot respond to anonymous comments. Wish you would register either here or on MW so I can answer! Hope you are doing better now. Miss you!