Sorry this took so long to post, but life got busy and the computer didn't work, and all sorts of stuff. But here it is chapter 3, and remember standard disclaimer applies: I do not own.

Brian

To say you were surprised when Ted told you that Justin was in your office is an understatement. Without even letting Ted finish his statement, you were already down the hall, heading to your office. You don't want to stop and stare at the blond figure asleep on the couch, but you do, silently taking in the sight of him lying there, his back to the world. You frown when you noticed the way Justin's body was tensed, even in his sleep, and decide to wake him and to figure out just what he thought he was doing showing up here.

Walking over and pushing on his shoulder telling him to "wake the fuck up", you are momentarily taken aback at how he seemed to be in a full on, ready to bolt, fight or flight position, as soon as he awakens. But then all thought leave your head when you finally take in his appearance. His normally beautiful face is swollen, covered in a mottle of bruises, both of his eyes are blacken, his bottom lip busted, stitches across his forehead and a metal splint on his nose. Not to mention the cast on his arm.

"What the FUCK?" You can't help but exclaim, then you actually notice his eyes. More importantly, you notice the look in his eyes; it's a look that over the years you have hoped, wished, dreamed and prayed would leave his eyes never to return. It's a look that graced those beautiful blue eyes for the first time when he opened them after they were closed by the swing of a baseball bat. To you that look means: hold me, protect me, save me from the nightmares, from psychotic homophobes with bats and bombs, love me. Without even thinking twice, you're calling for Ted, telling him you'll be gone for the day, and then in just a few quick strides, you have him in your arms. Once he's safely cocooned in your embrace you feel him start to break down; and knowing him probably for the first time since whatever happened, happened.

You're not sure how long you'd been standing there holding him, when he finally starts to calm down, his sobs slowly decreasing until he has control again. You start to ask him what happened, but he just shakes his head and says, "Take me home." You nod, gather your stuff, and lead him out to the 'Vette, silently noticing the slight limp he has, and the way he tentatively sits down in the car, but you just roll in your lips and decide to save your questions for later.

The drive to the loft is spent in silence, not even the radio on, and you're eerily reminded of other instances of silent drives, back when you'd have to pick him up from PIFA or the diner and even once from the supermarket, because of his bashing induced migraines that had ways of just sneaking up on him. You reach over and hesitantly grab his hand, to your relief he intertwines his fingers with yours in a hard, vice-like grip. He doesn't relinquish hold of your hand after that, squeezing it like a lifeline. Even after you park, he refuses to let go, climbing through the driver's side of the car to get out without letting go. By the time you enter the loft, he's seemed to work himself back up into a panic, but beyond that you can tell he's in pain.

"You look like you're hurting, you have anything for it?" you ask him.

"No… Yeah, fuck. I have some prescriptions I'm suppose to get filled, I haven't even though about them," he says.

"Are they in your bags? If they are, tell me where they are at, and I'll go get them and have them filled."

"I didn't bring any bags. Here," he says, pulling out the written scripts.

Somewhat surprised at his admission of having no bags, you start to worry even more, taking the scripts and looking through them. An antibiotic, Demerol, and, oh God, you feel like your going to be sick. You know that last one, you've designed ad campaigns for it, but it's something he should never have to take. Endovir, an antiviral, a drug for HIV, Oh my fucking God, you don't know what to do, to say, to think. This can't be happening. Why does he need it? What the fuck happened to him?

"Justin, I need you to tell me what happened. Because if you don't tell me, right fucking now, I'll, I'll, I don't know. Just tell me, please." Yes, you are aware you're begging, but you have to know, you need to know what happened. He sits down on the couch and starts to cry again, and you automatically go and hold him.

"I don't know how it happened. I mean, I wasn't really drunk, I guess he just took me by surprise. But I was walking down the street, and the next thing I know I'm on the ground and I'm being kicked and punched, and then I'm waking up in an ambulance. I really don't remember what happened. But they told me; they told me that when I was found, I didn't have my pants on. And the doctor said that, that he didn't use a condom. Oh God Brian, I don't know what I'm going to do. I don't know. So I just left the hospital. I had to come here; I had to get to you. The Stupid Fucker has by cell phone, and my wallet, and my keys, I don't even know what he thinks he's going to do with my keys. I'm so scared; I'm so fucking terrified. Why does this shit always have to fucking happen to me? Who the fuck did I piss on to make all this shit always fucking happen to me?"

You feel a rage, a deep black rage come over you, yet you also feel sicken, the thought of someone, anyone hurting him. And how dare they do THAT, to him, to sully him with their essence. And the thought, even the possibility, that he might be sick is unfathomable. However, as much as you want to "queen out" right now, you know that he needs you to be calm and hold him together. So you start thinking. No wallet, that means we need to cancel credit cards, no phone, we need to have his old one turned off and get a new one. But most importantly we need to get his meds filled, and soon. Knowing there's no way that you'd be able to leave right now, you start to think of whom you know that can help you out but can keep their mouth shut. For some reason, all you can think of is Ben. After calling the Professor and asking if he could do a favor and keep his mouth shut about it, you just sit with him, slowly rocking him back and forth, in hopes of soothing him into sleep. Your hopes are recognized as he drifts off, minutes before Ben buzzes to be let in.

You slowly and gently extricate yourself out of his grasp, and grabbing the filled out script sheets, go and answer your door. You surprise Ben by stepping out of the loft and sliding the door shut behind you instead of inviting him in.

"Before I tell you what's going on, I need you to promise me that you won't tell Michael what's going on, at least not yet," you start off, hoping that he agrees to your terms.

"I'm not going to lie to him Brian."

"I'm not saying you have to lie, just don't mention anything. It's not about me, it's about Justin."

"Okay, what do you need me to do?"

"Justin's here and he is hurt. We don't want anyone to know he's here yet, especially not Debbie, he needs some time to him self first. He needs some meds filled, but I can't really leave him alone right now. I need you to run down to the Liberty Pharmacy, we have an account there, and get them filled for him. I'll call ahead and let them know your coming and it's okay, but I'm going to give you his information in case it's needed. Can you help me?"

"Yeah, I can help. But why me?" As he says this, I give him the scripts.

"Look at the scripts, and I think you'll understand why you, instead of anyone else." You know he's found the prescription when he gives a small, almost silent gasp.

"Brian this is a …"

"I know." You say, cutting him off. "Last night, in New York, he was attacked and…. And…I guess the doctor's decided to play it safe, and go on and get started on an ARV, you know, Just in, just in case."

You can barely say that. Just in case, just in case what? It turns out he does

have it, then what? He's going to live a nice healthy life like Ben? For some reason, you don't think so, you know Justin, and how his body reacts to drugs and their side effects. When you think of Justin being sick, you don't see him being like Vic and Ben, living for years after they get sick, instead you think of the others you knew, from back in the 90s, when the pandemic first started, those friends who didn't make it the past the first year or two after being diagnosed.

"Brian," you hear Ben say, putting a hand on your arm, bringing your thoughts back to the here and now, "Brian, I'll do this, and no one has to know, okay. And whatever happens, you'll make it."

"Thanks. So here, is his insurance card, it has his social security number and birth date in case they need it. Here's some money, it should cover it, and just let me know. And can you please ask them, to make sure that he's not allergic to any of these meds. They should have his allergies on file, if not call me, but he's allergic to so many fucking meds that it's always a bit of trouble to start him on anything new."

"Yeah, no problem. I'll get this done and then be right back. If you need anything else, just call me." With that, Ben turned and left, leaving you standing out in front of the loft, and as much as you want to go in, you realize that you need to get a hold of yourself. You can't afford to break down and freak out, not yet. Of course, as you are Brian FUCKING Kinney, you would never admit that you are about to freak out, but you are and you know it. Finally with a deep breath, you open the door and reenter the loft.

Walking over to the couch, you sit and watch him, amazed that even with a multi-colored face, he is still so beautiful. He hadn't changed much in the last seven months, his hair is shorter than it was when he left, and it's now more like when he came back from California. One of the things you've always loved most about his was his hair, with its silky golden locks. You remember how upset you were the time he had shaved it due to the influences of that fuck Cody. As you watch him move around in his sleep, your attention is brought to the cast on his arm. The cast starts at the palm of his hand, and moves all the way up to his elbow. It was large, bulky and white, and if that doesn't say something about his state of mind, because the Justin he knows would never settle for a plain white cast. The artist within him screams for color and his Sunshine personality calls for bright, cheery colors. You don't remember seeing him with a sling, and as you don't have yours anymore, you probably need to get a new one. Last you knew, your old sling was being used to terrorize Melanie, since you'd given it to Gus as a toy, and as a 5-year-old boy, he'd turned it into a slingshot. You still find yourself amazed that you can spend hundreds of dollars on toys, but your son would rather play with a ten dollars sling his old man wore after a broken collarbone. Pulling out your phone, you call Ben and ask him to pick up a sling (small because you swear your Sunshine is part elf), a sketch pad, pencils and markers. Because you know your Sunshine and after what happened you know he'll need some type of art to help keep him sane.

You are pulled out of your thoughts by sounds that are so hauntingly familiar: the little whimpers and moans, the sounds of movement as he tries to evade whatever he's running from in his sleep. You feel your frown get deeper, as you approach him and gently awaken him, gently coaxing him out of his sleep as you have done for years.

"SHH, SHH. It's okay Justin, I'm here. I got you. You're safe now; I'm not going to let anything happen to you. You're safe here." You soothe him, with him gathered in your arms, softly whispering words of comfort. After he has awakened and calmed down, you look down at him, and gently force his head up, making sure he is looking at you, and forcing eye contact.

"Justin, listen to me. I'm not going to tell you it's all going to be okay, because you know that is complete and utter bullshit. But I mean it when I say you are safe here. I'm not going to let anything happen to you. Not again, okay?" And after receiving a slight nod from him, you continue, "Ben went to get your meds filled and he should be back soon. Now I take it your mom doesn't know you're here? Or your roommate? Didn't think so. We'll call them later, and at least let them know you are here, and then we'll start canceling everything that was in your wallet. Now I bet you want to take a shower? I think we can use a trash bag to cover your cast so that you can get cleaned up, okay?"

And you find yourself amazed that you just had a complete conversation without him even uttering a word. This is so NOT the Sunshine you know. After wrapping his arm up in plastic and helping him undress, you follow him in the bathroom. You stay in the bathroom just long enough to help him wash his hair without getting his stitches wet, and then leave him to shower in privacy.