Warning: I kill Ben in this, so well char death. Oh and this is slash.
Note: Thanks to James for loaning me Tommy's Tale, encouraging me on this peice and naming Brian's bf at one point. This peice was inspired by Tommy's Tale by Alan Cumming and takes bits and pieces and ideas from the book, though it's not necessary to have read the book to understand the piece.
Reviews and Flames are welcome.
"You can take the boy out of the party, but you can't take the party out of the boy." Tommy's Tale by Alan Cumming
There are chances everyday to change the course of your life, most people just choose to ignore them. It could be a catching ad campaign by yours truly, or maybe having a kid. It could be a simple interaction, a movie, a book. The thing is you don't see it coming, you don't suspect it. One minute you're happily and blindly living your little life and the next your unsuspecting eyes have been pried wide open. I'm a good example. I'd have never suspected by best friend's lover to change the course of my life.
I know what you're thinking and it's not even close to what I'm going to tell you, pervert. Prepare to be shocked. Besides I'd already fucked him long before he and Michael ever laid eyes on each other and if you think I'd hurt Mikey like you don't know me very well.
I could say it all started shortly after they got married. I could go back to Michael's wedding. I wanted to say something, anything, to protect Michael. I mean fuck, he'd given up college to help take care of Vic, to earn money his uncle and mother desperately needed. How many times had he put his life on hold for other people? How many times had I waited for him to break down crying in my arms because this time we might actually lose Vic? Or we had? Hell, it'd been over Ben that once. Now he was cementing doing that with Ben and eventually Hunter? I know Mikey's strong, but that'd fucking ruin anybody. Maybe I wanted to protect him from the pain, maybe I wanted to protect myself from seeing him in pain.
We'll never know because I kept my mouth shut. See that one moment, changed the course of my life, and I didn't even do anything.
You hesitate, you lose.
At least that's what I thought. I hesitated with Mikey and then couldn't let Justin hold himself back for me, so I said the right words, did the right things and shipped him of to sunny California both of us single. I broke both our hearts for our own good.
That's how it is when your example of that forever cliché is Jack and Joan Kinney, or my sister's failed love life. I bet at one point Debbie fooled herself into thinking she had forever with Danny. Don't get me started on Vic, he's had more 'forever's' then one person can keep track of. Rodney was just the man who had him in the end.
Michael was Ben's last 'forever.'
Shortly after they cemented this, just on the heel of Justin and mine mind-numbing-not-even-going-to-go-into-detail-breakup he, meaning my best friend's freshly stamped husband, paid me a visit.
"Let me guess, you've come to inform me that you'll no longer be gracing us with your presence and to be there for Michael as he deals with your mysterious disappearance?"
Needless to say I was as charming as ever.
"You'll stop being boring and shock us all be doing something new and entertaining?"
I'm shocked he didn't turn around and leave. No, instead he gave me a present, a box wrapped in plain blue wrapping paper. He said I wasn't supposed to open it until he died.
Interesting and original, huh?
He said I'd understand when I opened it. I don't know what possessed him to think I wouldn't open it the moment he walked away. I'm still not sure why I didn't just rip it open then or didn't mention it to Michael. My first instinct was to throw it away, but I didn't, instead I stuck it in the bottom drawer of my computer desk under all the other crap I've tossed in there. I quickly proceeded to forget it.
Gus actually found it. Eight-year-olds are scary inquisitive. He was over one day and decided to organize my desk. He started with the drawers.
"Daddy, what's this?" he asked as he brought it to me confusion on his face.
I got one of those creepy chill things up and down my spine at the aged look of the present. Ben had only been dead and buried two months.
"Ben gave that to me."
He wrinkled his nose in confusion, a trait Lindsey says he inherited from her mom, "Why haven't you opened it yet?"
He climbed onto a chair at my breakfast nook and laid it down between us. I was glad we had the kitchen island separating us.
I shrugged, trying to be nonchalant, "I wasn't supposed to open it until he died."
I could see the one too many old romance movies with Michael and Emmett running through his head. Hell maybe even one of those operas he'd begged Ted to take him too. Ted says he loves them, I still have my doubts. I'd fall asleep. Except Gus comes back excitably talking about what happened. Somehow I think it'd be safer to let him sit in front of some R rated movies, but to some that wouldn't be considered cultured, would it?
So Gus formed his suspicions and very matter of factly asked me if I'd fucked 'Uncle Ben'. I asked if he though I'd do that to 'Uncle Mikey'.
"Uncle Ted would think so," he pointed out.
I explained no, there was no use trying to get into the mess that was the White Party with out Lindsey and her new boyfriend coming down on me. Linds is still going back and forth between men our little group can barely stand and woman who couldn't possibly measure up to Mel. Who'd have thought that the worst thing she could do was lose Mel? I didn't think too much of their breakup, except for how it'd affect Gus, until Linds desperately tried to get me into bed.
She's only gone downhill from there.
Still explaining the party thing would get her and her new beau coming down on my head. Not to mention the field day Mel'd have. I decided it wasn't worth it.
So Sonny boy pushed the package towards me and told me to open it. I responded by telling him he could do it for me, which got me one of those exasperated looks he picked up from Mel. Apparently because it was my present I had to open it. After ripping away the blue wrapping we found a book laying in tissue paper inside a plain maroon box.
"Tommy's Tale by Alan Cumming: a novel," Gus read. He'd insisted I sit next to him as I opened it.
"I thought Alan Cumming was an actor?" Gus wrinkled his nose, which made him look like Lindsey, "Didn't he play Nightcrawler in X-men?"
Michael's influence I'm sure.
Gus nodded, "I like him, he's sexy."
Only my son would equate blue skin and a tail with sexy. I raised an eyebrow.
"Well he is," he insisted.
"You're too young to know what sexy means."
"He's old enough to be your grandpa."
He raised an eyebrow and turned the book over so we were looking at a picture of Alan Cumming, "Are you telling me he's not sexy?"
Before I could respond he giggled and asked if he could paint his nails. Emmett's influence, at least that's who I blame. Of course he could have picked it up from Hunter's black nail polish stage, or Clive, the pretty goth boy Hunter's been dating for the last four months. Gus likes to paint his nails, let it dry, wear it for half an hour, get bored with it, then remove it, before he starts the whole process over again. It keeps him occupied. Sometimes I even let him paint mine.
I got him his box of nail polishes from the shelf I kept them on and skimmed the inside cover. Imagine my shock when the book actually looked interesting. Yeah it's Alan Cumming, but we're talking Ben here.
I started reading.
I had it done before work the next morning. Ben's message was clear. I was supposed to relate to Tommy, which I did. Charlie was Michael. Give you one guess who Finn, Charlie's precocious eight-year-old reminded me of. It was like a slap in the face: Get your life together, grow up, admit you love him or risk losing Michael forever. Try with Michael or miss out on what could be one of the greatest relationships of your life.
I panicked, which meant drugs, sex, not necessarily in that order and plenty of both. Zack, the guy I'd been dating on and off for the past six months, only took three days to tell me goodbye forever. He wasn't going to watch me self-destruct.
You'd think I'd have known better, considering Tommy did the same thing. I was safer though and not nearly as stupid.
Mikey tried talking to me, and all that resulted in was a failed attempt to get him into bed. Hunter came down from college for the weekend and ranted some sense into me. Apparently I was freaking Michael out and if I didn't get my shit together he'd be forced to 'kick my ass.' His dad had been through enough with losing Ben and Hunter wasn't going to see him lose me either. If by some miracle I did die he said he'd drag my sorry ass out of wherever I ended up, give me a good swift kick and force me to live and honestly all I really heard was that I was scaring Michael.
I stopped, then stagnated.
I didn't know what to do, because Ben was actually right. If I was going to actually try to have a 'forever' it would be with Michael.
I'd know that probably since I'd know him, I'd just never accepted it. I was too busy giving myself the childhood I'd never had as a kid, except for those rare moments with Michael. So I ditched the drugs, dragged myself out of self-seclusion, and took my kid to his little league game. Then I isolated myself with movies. One of the few ways I've found to combat my insomnia.
Eventually all the images blurred together and I decided I wanted to buy a house. Hey I could've followed Tommy's rules for depression, but who needs someone else's fucking rules.
masturbate, masturbate, masturbate
They're not bad rules, but I make up my own.
I finally slept, the entire time cursing Ben and his stupid wake up call. Michael eventually tried to find out what was wrong again and I told him about the present, but not what I had learned. Instead I tested the waters. I couldn't end up as rebound for Ben, so there was no being with him if he was still grieving.
Four months after Ben died I asked him to buy a house with me.
"Brian?" he asked looking at me confused, as if he thought I'd finally lost it.
He frowned and sat up, we were spending time together in my living room, "You'd have to give all this up."
"Maybe I'm ready to. Maybe it's time I grew up."
He blinked at me, brow furrowed in concern, "But…"
"I can still stay young and beautiful forever, but I don't have to be a child while doing it," I explained as I smoothed out his brow and pulled him close, willing him to trust me in this.
"With me though?"
"Well," I tried to think of a way to explain without saying I planned to seduce him, "I said I'd grow up. I didn't say it would be easy, can't I drag my security blanket with me?"
He laughed as I wrapped my arms around him and pulled him close, "So now I'm a ratty old blanket?"
"No, you're perfect."
He laughed as I pulled him into a kiss. After kissing me back he told me, "Let me think about it okay?"
I agreed and we moved on to other topics. It only took me a month to convince him I wasn't joking and we were searched the market. We found a nice three-bedroom, two bath, with a yard and a basement.
I gave him the book as a house warming present when we moved in, with separate rooms of course. One night I invited him into my room, and he hasn't left since.
Some days he's still grieving, but I know I'm not rebound and it's not meant to hurt me. It's what he needs and always in the back of his mind I was his ideal forever. It's not easy, but then growing up never is. At least I'm happy, which is more then I can say for most people.
Will it last?
Well I'm a pessimist masquerading as a realist so we'll see. We're going to take things one day at a time, which is really all we can do. Besides I'm not worried about that right now. I've got more important things occupying me.
Gus helped Michael and me pick out a play-set for the backyard, something to get him and Jenny to want to play outside. Mikey and I both wanted one at different points in our youth so Jenny and Gus had to have one. I'm just not sure how to put the damn thing together, they seem to have gotten more confusing than when I was helping Lindsey with hers. Screw it, Mel's trying forever with Leda, one of them can figure it out.