TITLE: Fade to Black


RATING: PG-13, for coarse language and character death.

WARNINGS: B/J pairing. Spoilers right up to the Season 3 Finale.

SUMMARY: Picking up immediately after the end of the Season 3 Finale.


"Well, I guess now I've lost everything."

"Not everything." I slipped his arm around Brian's shoulders, giving them a squeeze. Looking into his eyes said more than words could ever say. I still can't believe I was so blind – so stupid. This was one of the rare times I'd say Michael was right about anything having to do with me and Brian.

The smile on my face wouldn't go away, even remembering how I strayed. I was just too happy for too many reasons and I didn't know if I could hide it if I wanted to. We walked down the steps of Woody's, heading right into the hell mouth – the throngs of people moving together, screaming together... waving little flags. Once we got there, paused by people in mid-group-hug, I added, "... you still have your bed."

Our bed, I wanted to correct, but I held my tongue. That bed was where I lost my virginity, found the love of my life, learned how to rim, AND learned the value of a brand name lubricant. In my mind, that made the bed just as much mine - but of course I wouldn't say that to Brian.

"It's always good to see you have your priorities straight, Sunshine." Brian's hand cupped my face, and he kissed me on the lips softly – sweetly. "You've truly become the best homosexual you could possibly be." I beamed up at him, like he'd just given me a goldstar. That moment, all I wanted was for him to kiss me again. The people around us became background noise, as my arms wrapped about his neck and drew him closer.

"Grasshopper had a good master..." He was thinking bad thoughts... The big bad Kinney thoughts that were pressing up against my stomach at that moment, and led to wild nights of sensational sex. My tongue ran over my lips seductively, pulling my lower lip and biting it. I let it drag out slowly, watching his hazel eyes never leave my mouth for a second. "... but there is still so much I could learn." The princess I was, I sounded as though I were in the throws of deepest despair... but in the eye of the storm, I was in the safest place I could ever think to be.

His forehead pressed against mine as he spoke, "I predict in the next issue of Rage, JT discovers he can read minds – I have just the lesson planned for this evening..." His hands were sliding into the back of my jeans, into my underwear, cupping my ass firmly – squeezing until I let out squeal. I was arching against him, his tongue lapped at my neck, and his lips brushed past mine when he pulled back to look at me. "Mm, but first... I want to get back to the lair." He punctuated with a kiss on the tip of my nose, and slipped his arm about my waist to lead me through the crowds.

Debbie's voice cut through all the noise and jubilee of the streets, "The festivities just started, you little asshole! You bring your butt, and his bubble one back here and celebrate with us!"

When we stopped, I felt myself turned around – secured in his strong arms, one across my collarbone and the other was tucking a hand into a front pocket of my jeans. "Sorry, Debra, but I must get the young boy home - to tuck him in proper." I heard his teeth clicking together, coming menacingly towards my ear. I leaned away, laughing already, with the memory of how it tickles when he does that against my skin. He teased me once, saying I was too sensitive – laughing only by the threat of being tickled – but I know he loves when I'm at his mercy.

"And someone," I began, causing Brian to pause in his assault. "... has to look after the Prince turned Pauper of Pittsburg." Brian made a face, akin to that of 'possession withdrawl' – which was just so cute. Debbie and I laughed together at him. He took it in good will, hugging me closer, and I could feel his hardness trying to find its mark through the fabric of our jeans. I reached back and clapped a hand over the side of his face, and offered him a small apologetic smooch – which he graciously accepted.

"Will you two ever stop–"

"And me without my camera!" Vic appeared behind Debbie, patting her on the shoulder, and wiggling his eyebrows suggestively at us. I think sometimes, that when Brian's that age, he'll have a libido to rival Vic's – or I can only hope - that I'll be there when that happens. I'd love to see Brian old and gray, if just to be around for the next viagra episode... He'll be around, I'm sure, but if he decides to go out in a blaze, I hope I get to be the one to talk him out of it. Sometimes I think about where we'll go when we die, not just me and Brian... but I hope we'll all go to the same place. I idly wonder if there's lofts with fortified shower stalls in heaven.

Brian looked at me strangely, and I think I must be smiling that certain way. He says I have a look where he thinks I'm picking out our china patterns, but instead of teasing me this time – he just looks at me, fondly, and gives me another brief kiss.

"Fine, you two little assholes go celebrate your own way – but you better be in the diner bright and early!" Deb crossed her arms, and though she was trying to guilt us into staying... If she were really wanted us to stay, we wouldn't be getting off this easy. "We're going to have to make up something special on the menu to remember the day we showed that gay-bashing homophobe police chief what it means to take it like a man!" Vic was treated to a sharp smack on the ass, "Right up the rear!"

I was laughing, and I could feel Brian smiling against my neck as he steered us away from the crowds of Liberty regulars. I think I saw Emmett dancing right along, and that made me reserve a smile for him. Brian caught me looking, and kissed my cheek – we didn't have to say it, but we both wanted to see Emmett happy, and maybe Ted, too, someday.

I was still grinning like an idiot, even after the sounds of cheering was fading. "Keep smiling like that, and we might get mistaken for a happy couple – then what would Liberty have to talk about?" Before I could answer, his lips were on mine again, in a longer kiss this time... Brian loves to kiss, and I love to – with him. Only him, from now until forever, as far as I'm concerned. I've learned my lesson, and I know where I belong... with Brian. He'll never lose me. I'm on to him.

We'd broken away from one another, and were walking at arms length, holding hands. I gave into temptation, and swung our hands girlishly, even skipping for a few steps. Brian shot me a look, but didn't tease or stop me. He probably figured he was already letting me get away with so much lately - and though he was trying to hold back, he was smiling... dare I say, lovingly at me.

In about a block or two, it already seemed like the rest of the walk home was going to be totally deserted. We were quiet, except we chuckled every once in a while someone passed by. Most of the guys left on the street were all heading to the impromptu street party or on their cell phones to tell their friends to meet them there. A few guys were randomly screaming "Fuck you, Stockwell!" as they walked down the street, but besides the fading ringing of remixed Erasure in the background, it was mostly pretty quiet.

We turned a corner before something occurred to me, "Uhm, Brian?... If Michael takes the 'vette, doesn't that mean you can't hawk it to pay back your debt?" There was a pause, and I thought he didn't hear me. Maybe he just was too busy thinking with his cock. I grinned and reached under Brian's jacket, tugging at his shirt, "Hey, space man..."

"Huh?" Brian seemed distracted. He wasn't looking at me any more, but his eyes were darting around. Odd. I wasn't quite sure what to make of it. I tried looking where he was looking, but I didn't see anything. Just a car sitting there under a street light. But he came back from wherever he was and answered, "Oh, yeah... well, maybe I can report it stolen, and grab the insurance or something. It'll work out, don't worry your cute little Twinkie head about a thing." Brian ignored the frown I was flashed his way, and he kissed me again. It wasn't that it wasn't still a great kiss – but it was obviously one of those 'shut up and be quiet for a minute' kisses. That was the straw that broke the camel's back – something was up, and he wasn't telling me.

"Brian, what's wrong? Don't tell me you're going to miss that Hunter kid?" I rolled my eyes, stuffing my hands in my pockets. "He was so irritating, always trying to get into your pants, and telling me to go away - ME." Truth of the matter was that Hunter and I probably weren't all that different... 'cept there was no boyfriend-equivalent when I first met Brian. I slipped my arm back under Brian's jacket... partially because it was warmer, and I think the possessive alpha-male in me decided to make an appearance. "And if you're worried about Michael, you're always saying how he's a big boy and can take care of –"

"Shh." That was all the warning I had before his hand came over my mouth. His face was close to mine, his forehead pressed against mine, as if he were about to tell me some intimate secret – but instead, he wasn't looking at me at all. His eyes were peeking through the strands of my hair behind us at something. If this was some kind of joke, I really wasn't liking it. I watched his eyes narrow, and before I could speak, he started whispering to me," I think... we're being followed. C'mon." Brian kissed me, as though he had meant to from the time he put his arm around me, and we walked with me tucked safely away at his side.

"How long?" I didn't want to sound like a scared little faggot, but Brian was really freaking me out. If he was scared, then I definitely had the right to be, too.

"About four blocks," he said, but then he looked pensive and added,"... at least. I mean, I didn't really notice until we were far enough from the noise. "

"I didn't notice them at all..." I muttered, more to myself, but he heard me. His arm squeezed me closer, and he pressed his lips to my temple. I was tense, and he could feel it, but now I was cooking up all sorts of paranoid delusions, "Holy fucking shit, Brian!" Brian gave me a warning look, and from then, I spoke in harsh whispers. "You don't think Stockwell – oh my God, Brian - we have to do something - call somebody!"

"Oh, right. You mean like the cops?" Well, that made me feel like an idiot, but still.

"... somebody! Somebody should know where we are or – y'know, in case, something... if..."

"Don't get hysterical, princess." Don't, he says.

"'Dumpster Boy' was found over a year ago, and we found the killer last fucking week, Brian!" He'd just written an awesome, and expensive, ten-second spot about the whole thing - he knew what was up, if not ten times better than I did. I had a death grip on the back of his shirt, as I continued to compare myself with Jason Kemp, "He was nineteen, blond, about my height..."

"You're way hotter," Brian stated flatly. Just like that, he cut me off. Expecting me to calm down because he says I'm hot - trying to use his Rage powers of mind control to get me to shut up. I was pissed, and it probably showed, but rather than looking at me apologetically... he was looking at me like I was stupid. "Look. I didn't let you check out in a parking lot wearing an fancy tux, there's no way in hell I'd let you end up in a dumpster in a fucking t-shirt – so calm the fuck down." Whether that made me any calmer or not, I was rendered totally speechless for a solid minute. It took a minute for me to realize that Brian had been leading us back to where we start - to the crowds and noise of Liberty. But... hadn't he just promised that he'd protect me, and be there every step? Just like after prom. I had gotten quiet, or ridiculously romantic, and I think it worried him. I was still tense, and he was gently rubbing my shoulder with his hand. He's so sweet in such a crass way, sometimes I just... want to kiss him till I pass out from lack of air. "Stop thinking like a dyke. I don't do pussy."

The street was in sight now – the lights, the spectacle. Someone had broken out some fireworks which were firing off towards the sky, and sparklers were raised high and swinging. I was glad we were coming back, because we might have missed this – like if Brian had let me leave early from Pride... Then again, I was also happy for the safety of numbers. I wanted to glance back every once in a while, but I couldn't see very well over Brian's arm over my shoulders... and he'd throw me off, kissing my temple if I turned towards him, and kissing my neck when I turned away. Every light and laser on the street was burning bright. I was blinded by the strobing spotlights all the way from here, at the top of the hill leading down to Liberty. There was a live band down there now, playing 'Hear it for the Boy', and it felt like a sign. We were meant to come back here was like coming full circle. This was our song.

... Okay, okay. It was my song. The first night I was at Babylon, and got my man... I ran my tongue over my teeth, looking over at Brian who looked like he knew exactly what I was thinking. He confessed later that he lied to Michael about seeing me a second time, which still pumps my ego to cloud nine to this day. The trick who was a trick no more – that was me. I remember those first times like a movie playing in my head, but I can feel him under my fingertips, and feel his breath on my skin. The memories were hitting me full blast, and I felt a surge of excitement – which after my hysterics, must have surprised him – like I had the bass at Babylon drumming through my veins. My lips were crushing his, with no resistance, and my hands were all over his chest and sides trying to touch him all at once. But he couldn't let me have the upper hand for too long, and I smiled against his lips when he pressed me up against a nearby building. My eyes closed to savor everything – the feel of his hands gripping my shoulders just enough to feel the sting, the bruising of his lips on mine, his hips glued to mine...

But in the seconds that followed, I expected him to lift my leg and grind his hips to mine, or find him on his knees in front of me, dragging the zipper down with his teeth. I waited for him to rip off the button on the front of my jeans, to pull my shirt up and suckle on my nipple until I begged for more. I waited for him to pull back, to look over my bruised lips, watch me gasp for air, then to lean forward and search for more. I opened my eyes, to stare into his hazel ones – they were wide, and panicked. And then something, a taste – it was strange, metallic, but warm on my tongue. I wasn't sure what to make of it at first, but it reached the back of my throat before I could prepare to swallow and I was choking. Brian's hold on me loosened, and his lips fell away from mine, so I could breathe – and I could feel wet running down the corner of my mouth. It was all a blur, with the flashing colors coming from the street below, then the spotlight, a blinding white, "Let's hear it for my baby..."

And then it faded to black.