Season 3 – episode 1

I placed the prom : May 2001

Rage party : mars 2003.

Mel and Lindsay's Bday : 8 years still counting – mars 2003

Brian POV.

I came from the toilet and grabbed a beer on my way to the backyard. I just downed it when Michael stops to rant about Justin's presence at the muncher's anniversary.

"Do you believe the nerve of that little twat? Showing up here with his new boyfriend?"

I turned around and looked at Justin, who seemed happy for the first time in so long, I can't even remember when the last time was. Oh yeah, I remember, it was on prom night.

I frowned and was dumbfounded when I heard the rest of his diatribe, "I told him to stay the fuck out of our lives."

"Why'd you do that?" I asked, feeling the need to defend Justin's family.

Michael looked at me as if I just lost my mind, "After what he did?"

I couldn't let this go, "He didn't do anything, we were never happily married, he was always free to go, so was I," how could I explain to Michael, that our relationship wasn't the one he idealized? We were always free to go, even if this decision hurt like hell.

Michael huffed, and continued, "You're just saying that!" And he finished yelling toward Justin's direction, "He's a selfish shit."

I caught a glimpse of Justin's eyes when he looked over at us; I had to warn Michael, and said, "Be quiet Michael."

"He used you, and he took from you, and he never gave back a thing," Michael threw at my face.

I yelled, a last warning, feeling my nerves giving away slowly, "I said be quiet." But Michael never heard the warning, "And this is the thanks you get, for saving his life!" The more Michael spoke, the more I knew he would cross the line, and the angrier I got. "If you ask me, it wasn't worth it, you might as well have just left him lying there …"

He never had the time to finish his sentence, my mind just snapped, and the blow landed on his jaw before he could say another word.

Everyone around us began to shout and get concerned; I looked over at Justin, to make sure he was all right and caught the troubled look in his eyes.

Of course, everyone was fussing over Michael, Debbie called me an animal, maybe I am, but I couldn't let Michael go on. I couldn't focus for the moment, and the only thing I knew was that I'd just punched my best friend.

I'm brought back to reality when I felt someone grab my shoulder, I turned around and saw Ben, ready to punch me.

But Michael stopped him, "Ben, no, don't".

And I saw Vic pushing him away from me. Of course, everyone was astonished and everyone was looking at me in disbelief, but the only one important for me, was Justin. In my state, I couldn't look up at him.

Lindsay suggested that I leave, and Melanie added venomously "NOW." I wanted to tell them, but couldn't, it was too personal, too … it would hurt too much. I looked at Michael once more, still shaking and nursing my hand, then walked to the exit. I stepped around the people I know, I looked back one last time, just to be sure, just to be sure.

There he was standing on the other side of the yard, a concerned and lost look in his face. For a second, I wanted to walk to him, but I couldn't. He wasn't mine anymore. Was he ever?

As I walked to the jeep, I saw Justin followed by Ethan walking toward me.


I stopped, took a deep breath, turned around, and face him, "Yeah."

"Are you all right?"

I wanted to be honest, but the only words that came out were, "Why shouldn't I be? We were never married so don't worry about me. I'm free to do what I want."

He put his hands in his pockets and looked at the ground. I could see my words had hit home. He laughed nervously, "Yeah, you are right."

He stopped and looked around; I followed his gaze, and saw Ethan standing in the background. I decided to make it easier for him.

"You should go, and try to have a nice afternoon or what's left of it anyway."

Justin turned around, walked a few feet and looked back at me, "Why did you punch Michael."

Ah there was the big question, "He crossed a line he never should have."

Justin nodded, accepting that answer. He looked once more over at me and finally left.

I let out a deep sigh and finally got in my car and drove home.

Justin POV

I walked away, not sure, if it was a good idea. As I walked to Ethan, I heard the jeep pull away and felt a jolt in my heart. It wasn't Brian's usual behavior, punching people. When we arrived home, he took his violin and began to play. I took my sketchbook and began to draw.

After a few hours, I raised my head, and saw I was alone Ethan had left the apartment. A note was on the coffee table, or rather, on what we use as a coffee table.

"Go and see him, you won't be at peace till you've done that. Whatever you decide it's your choice, I will respect it, even if you go back to him.

Look at your drawings before saying anything. We're in deep shit if you don't.


I sighed deeply, and looked over the sketches I'd done. They were all of Brian. Brian dancing, Brian with Gus, Brian punching Michael, Brian working, all of them were of Brian.

I sighed deeply, took my wallet and walked over to Brian's loft. I still have his key, but I don't think it would be wise to use it.

As I approached the building, I saw a blond man walking towards me. He was dressed similar to the way I dress and oddly, he looked a lot like me.

As I walked to the door, he extended his arms to ring Brian's loft. I stopped him.

"Huh, sorry, how much?"

"I'm already taken."

I looked at him, of course he was taken, "Huh, no, not like that. How much will he pay you?"

"$300 up-front."

I gasped, I had $350 in my wallet; it was money Mom gave me before the Rage Party to buy new clothes. I never thought Brian would spend that much on a hustler, well I should know better. I grabbed my wallet and pulled out the money, "I'll take it from there."

As he grabbed the money, he saw the picture I still have in my wallet, and said, "I see, he must be suffering a lot to ask for a guy that looks just like you."

I huffed. He grabbed my arms and said, "He's been calling all week, asking for the same thing, a young, blond, blue eyed, artsy type. Looking at you, I can see why. Trust me, he misses you even if he can't tell you. Shane said that last night, he kept calling him Justin all the time. Is that your name?"

I nodded, too stunned to say anything.

He looked me over again, and handed me half the money back, "Here, half is for the agency, and half is for me, that's my part, I think you will need it more than me."

He pushed the money back into my hand, and walked away.

I turned around and buzzed Brian's loft.

"Top floor," I heard his voice, sad, flat and it twisted my stomach.

I took the stairs slowly and stopped in front of Brian's door. I knocked, once, no answer. I knocked a second time, still no answer. I tried a third time, the door slide open. Brian looked at me and I tried to smile, to speak, but no sound came out my mouth, except, "Hey."

He hesitated a moment between closing the door and yelling at me. Finally, he stepped out of the way and gestured for me to step in.

Brian knew the hustler was supposed to look like Justin, but he never thought he'd have the real thing standing in front of his door. He watched as Justin walked into the loft, closed, and locked the door. Then he switched off the intercom along with all the phones at the loft. Once he finished that, he turned around and looked at Justin. After clearing his throat, he asked, "What are you doing here?"

Justin shifted from one foot to the other. Brian frowned because it wasn't Justin's nature to be uneasy around him. He thought of telling the boy that he had another appointment, but preferred to see what Justin wanted before telling him to fuck off.

After a moment, Justin looked up, "I … I saw the person you are waiting for, right before I came up there."


"I paid him, because I wanted to see you."

"Where did you get the money, from Ian?" asked Brian snidely.

"No, it was from my Mom, she gave it to me to buy some new clothes. I used it to pay the guy, so he didn't waste his time."

"Who told you to do that?"

"No one, like I said I wanted to talk to you."

"What for? I thought we talked out everything. You fell in love, he loves you too, you took your belongings, end of story," Brian said moving to the liquor cart. "Want one?"

"No, thanks," answered Justin.

Brian took a glass, poured a heavy amount of beam in it, and walked to the window. Justin stayed rooted to the spot between the kitchen and the living room. He finally moved and switched off the lights. He paused for only a second when he heard Brian's question, "What the fuck are you doing."

Justin switched off the last light and offered, "I think we need to talk, and I'm trying to find a solution so we can do it."

"You're gonna freak in the dark."

"Not here, I'm safe," replied Justin. He stopped his movement when he registered what he just said. Brian frowned at his comment.

From his spot at the window, he saw Justin moving. Justin grabbed a pillow from the sofa, walked to one of the poles, and sat down. Brian closed his eyes; they were coming to this, Justin putting distance between them, sitting on the other side of the loft to be sure, he wouldn't intrude in Brian's personal space. He heard Justin's breath intake.

"I always felt safe here."

"I know."

The silence stretched between them, Brian closed his eyes, "Why are you here?"

"I thought we could talk."

"There's nothing more to say, you made a choice."

"Maybe it's not the best one," whispered Justin.

"What was that?" asked Brian while moving to sit on the sofa, deliberately turning his back on Justin.

"I said maybe it wasn't the best one."

"Still your choice."

"Yeah I know."

Brian heard Justin's footsteps and after a few seconds, heard him sitting on the floor just behind the back of the sofa.

"Why did you punch Michael, this afternoon?"

"It's none of your business."

"I think it is, because I heard him saying, and I quote "He's a selfish shit. He used you, and he took from you, and he never gave back a thing," unquote. And from the glances Michael shot my way, he wasn't talking about you last conquest. Am I right?"

"Smart little shit."

"I always was."

"Mmmh," agreed Brian while sipping his whisky.

"I shouldn't have come to the party, it wasn't a smart move."

"You were happy, I saw your smile from the other side of the backyard, and you were happy. You were laughing at something, I… Ethan told you."

"We spoke about Gus, and how he and I stumbled in your life at the same time. He said that you had quiet an evening, and we laughed at the underlying joke."

"Oh? Why weren't you at the Diner this morning?"

"I left after I talked to Michael yesterday. I thought that it would be the best."

"For whom?"

"Shit!" cursed Justin, knowing that he made a mistake by telling Brian what happened the day before at the Diner.


"I shouldn't have told you that."

Brian inhaled deeply, "You said you think we should talk, so answer the question. For whom?"

"For you, your friends, your family."

Brian listened to Justin's enumeration, noting, what Justin used to describe the people who were his family too, the pronoun YOUR.

"Bullshit. Why do you think it would be better if you disappear?"

"I … it's just that …"

"What did Michael tell you? And please don't give me the sugared version. Do I make myself clear?"


Justin shifted on his pillow on the floor. Brian listened as Justin took a deep breath, and breathed out slowly. He needed two rounds before Brian heard Justin whispering what happened the day before.

"I came at the Diner, and walked in, when I spotted you. Debbie asked me if I wanted to work, or just stay there. You saw me coming in a few minutes later, taking my shift."

He paused and took another deep breath.

"After you left, I went out with the garbage, and Michael followed me. I asked him what he wanted and he told me he was out for a stroll, taking in the sights." Justin cleared his throat, "I asked him if it was so interesting to see me throwing out garbage, and I'm sure you really don't want to know," finished Justin.


Brian heard Justin moving and looked over the back of the sofa to see him heading for the door. In two large strides, he caught Justin, wrapping his arms around the blond's waist and holding him against his chest.

"No running away. Sunshine, spill… I'm waiting"

"I just, I can't, I shouldn't even be there. I shouldn't … It was a bad idea."

"Justin," began Brian.

"I should have called Debbie, and told her I quit. But I wanted to be sure you were all right, and that you weren't too angry with me, that somehow, we could still talk. Before I could figure out everything, Michael made it clear that I was a real shit leaving you like that in front of everyone. I know he was right, but I couldn't find any other solution at the time. I wanted to spend time with you, but you were already fucking Rage in the backroom. So I took Ethan's offer, and left. Christ! I'm a fool, Michael's right, he told me from the start, I should have known better."

"What Sunshine?"

"I remembered what he told me that first night, who you were, and how he wanted me gone. I told him yesterday that he got his wish granted, that you were all his; that I wasn't standing in his way anymore; that you were all his now that I left you."

Justin gulped a short breath, "He told me that since I was no longer with you, there was no more reason for me to be there. That I should do you and everyone from the family, including me, a favor… just disappear."

Brian closed his eyes as he listened to Justin, tightening his hold, Justin continued through the tears, "I thought he was right, so I left the Diner. On my way home, I bought a bottle of wine for Mel and Lindsay's party and decided to bring it yesterday evening, that's when they told me I should come, with Ethan. They told me you declined the invitation, and I wanted to see Gus one last time before … before …"

"Before you left?" whispered Brian in his ear. Justin nodded.

"But Debbie caught me on my way out and she told me to come back."

"She's good at convincing people."

"Yeah, and I agreed. After the incident, Ethan and I went home, and while I sketched you … he left the apartment and a note for me. He told me to come and speak with you, tell you … tell you …"

Brian waited, but Justin was struggling with his feeling, "Tell me what?"

"I have to tell you that … tell you I …" Justin began to breathe more strenuously, he tried to push Brian's arm, but he couldn't escape his embrace. He struggled and finally gave up, body broken by long and suffering raged breath

"Justin, shh…" Brian instinctively refused to let him go, and instead he took him over to the sofa, sat with him, and helped him to breath slowly and deeply, fighting away the panic attack.

"Why didn't you close the door?" asked Justin just above a whisper once he could talk again.

Brian frowned, "What?"

"Why did you let me in?" asked Justin.

Brian shifted on the sofa until he could stand up, then he walked to the window. He heard Justin's deep intake of air. He heard him stand up, waiting and then moving to the door. He closed his eyes.

Justin waited a few seconds then resigned, he slowly opened the door, he grabbed the doorframe, looked once more at Brian, and closed the door with a slam.

Brian looked over when he heard Justin footsteps walking toward him. Astonished, he looked into Justin's eyes, and saw the pain, anger, determination, and maybe even fear.

"I came because I wanted to tell you something, something important for me, but you have dismissed it anyway, I wanted you to tell me something, anything, but like always, you have to keep up your image, your standard. You can't allow yourself to let go of your emotions. Michael warned me, and I guess I should have expected this long ago. After reading Ethan's note and looking at the sketches I did tonight, I was hoping that eventually you wouldn't mind it just for one time to let go of all the restraints you put around your emotions. I guess I was wrong."

Brian looked over at Justin as he began to pace.

"You thought that coming here would allow me to free myself from some invisible restraints?"

"Yeah, I thought, I thought that you would… sorry, I know, it's stupid."

"You're right; it's almost just as stupid as falling for HIS bullshit in the first place," yelled Brian back.

"I wish you told me something, anything that night when I came home and you were working. But you just told me it's my choice. I knew since the first time I laid my eyes on him that I would never love him, like I love you." Justin stopped when he saw Brian turning around, "I knew I was making the biggest mistake of my life… that I'd regret it, and I already do. That you proved to me every day since I came back from rehab that you cared about me, you offered me more in actions than he ever will. I would have loved to hear those words, just once."

"Why are those words so damn important for you? Can't you understand that I won't say them? I can't say them."


"They mean nothing to me. They are empty."

Justin gasped when he heard Brian's words, he looked over at the bedroom, at the kitchen, he shook his head, "No, you can't say that."

"Why because in your perfect world it's not possible? Well in mine it's possible."

Justin looked like he'd been punched in the stomach, as he began to walk backwards; he tripped over his backpack that was lying on the floor, fell and hit his head on the hardwood floor.


In two strides, Brian was at his side. Justin was trying to move.

"Don't move, do you hear me? Don't move. Justin, look at me."

Justin opened his eyes and tried to focus on Brian's face. Brian grabbed Justin's hand, "Justin, squeeze my hand if you understand what I said."

Justin squeezed his hand once.

"I'll be back in less than a minute, all right. I'm going to grab some ice."

Justin squeezed Brian's hand one more time. Brian left Justin's side just long enough to grab some ice, a dry cloth, and the phone.

Brian knelt by Justin's side, put the ice in the cloth, and pressed it delicately to Justin's head. Justin opened his eyes and winced at the coldness, he tried to focus on Brian's features… face pale, haunted look. Justin closed his eyes again.

"Stay still."

Justin squeezed Brian's hand once more, as he looked down at Justin.

"Justin what day is it?"

"I … I … is it a school day?"

"Justin? Can you try to tell me what day it is?"

"I … September 2001?"

"Christ," muttered Brian.

"Am I right? Brian?" Justin tried to move, but Brian held him on the floor, "Don't move, Sunshine, you tripped over your backpack and fell flat on your back hitting the back of your head on the hardwood."

"Ho! That's why I have a headache?"


Brian took his phone and dialed 911, telling the operator to come immediately, that his partner just fell flat. The operator told him to be patient; an ambulance was on its way. Once disconnected, he went through his phone book and dialed Justin's neurologist's number.

"It's Brian Kinney, Justin Taylor's partner, I called, because Doctor Hutton told me to call if Justin fell and seemed disoriented."

"Yes, he tripped over his backpack, he fell flat on his back and hit the back of his head on the floor, he said he has a headache and can't remember what day it is. I already called the 911."

"All right, I'll see him there."

Just as he hung up, someone buzzed from the front door. Brian stood up checked it was the emergency team, and let them in.

He stayed near Justin as they put him in a neck brace and put him on the stretcher. As they began to move him into the elevator, Justin opened his eyes and began to panic.

"No, no, I'm fine, I'm fine, Brian … Brian …"

"Right here," Brian said as he stepped into the elevator with everyone, "We're going to the hospital, all right? Do you want me to call Ethan or your mom?"

"Mom? No, no need you're here. Who's Ethan?"

"Don't worry you will remember." Brian closed his eyes fighting the tears, as Justin grabbed his hand squeezing it like it was a lifeline.

As they stepped out the elevator, Brian wanted to take his car, but when he tried to get his hand back, Justin hyperventilated again. To prevent Justin's health and sanity from deteriorating, the paramedics told him to step into the ambulance with them.

Once seated, Justin looked over at him and said, "It's like the last time, but this time I can see your face."

Brian opened his eyes and looked at Justin, "What did you say?"

"The prom, fucking Hobbs and his baseball bat. I couldn't open my fucking eyes, I could only hear you."

"You're telling me you remember the prom?" asked Brian just above a whisper.

Justin tried to turn his head, but winced at the pain, "Yeah."

"Do you remember what day it is?"

"Today was Mel and Lindsay's Anniversary. It's the 16th of March 2003. Why are we in an ambulance?"

"Sir you tripped and you fell flat on your back and hit your head. From what your partner told us, you already had a trauma, and it's better for you to go and be checked over by your doctor."

"You called my neurologist?" asked Justin looking astonished at Brian.


Before Justin could ask something more, they stopped at the entrance of emergency room.

"I'm gonna ask you to let me out sir."

Brian stood up and let the paramedic pass. As he moved to let the stretcher go out, Justin grabbed his hand again.

"You won't leave me?"

Brian looked over at him and squeezed back, "No."

He followed the stretcher as they entered the emergency room. Justin was put between two curtains and immediately, taken care off.

Doctor Hutton appeared in less than five minutes, Justin was taken for a scan, an MRI, and Brian was told he could wait in the hallway if he wanted. Brian nodded and followed.

As Justin disappeared behind the SCAN door unit, Brian walked over to the public phone and dialed Jennifer's number. After three rings, a sleepy voice answered.


"Yeah, who's this?"

"It's Brian Kinney, I'm at Allegheny General, and Justin fell and was a little disoriented."

"Oh My God is he all right, is Ethan with him? Why are you there?"

"He's all right, his neurologist, is running some tests, and no, Ethan's not here. Justin went by the loft, he wanted to ask me something, he tripped on his way out and fell flat on his back, hitting his head."

"I'm coming right in."

"All right."

Jennifer hung up. Brian sighed. He thought about calling someone else, or even Ethan, but he remembered that the violinist didn't have a landline at the moment, and that Justin's phone was still at the loft.

A few moments later, a nurse brought him a chart to fill out. He looked over the chart and asked the nurse if they had a copying machine to copy Justin's allergies list. She smiled and led him to the nurse's station.

It took Brian ten minutes to complete the file before he gave it back to the nurse. When he looked up, he saw Jennifer running down the hall. She stopped at the nurse's station and asked for news. The nurse told her to wait with Brian, and Justin should be out in less than twenty minutes.

After half an hour, Justin came out of the examination room. When he saw his mother, he winced and gestured to Brian with his arms. Since Brian was in reach, Justin grabbed his arm, and tugged him toward him, "I thought I told you not to call her."

Brian smiled and whispered back, "She's still your mother; she would have been pissed not to know."

Justin looked over at his mother, seeing she was already pissed, "She's already pissed."

Brian looked over his shoulder and had to agree with Justin Jennifer was pissed.

They wheeled Justin to his room, Brian left his side for a few moments to talk to the doctor.

"Well Mr. Kinney, Justin is fine, I will keep him tonight just to be sure. He had a bump on his head and a slight concussion. As I said earlier, I want to keep him due to his past."

"All right, can I stay with him?" asked Brian.

"In front or inside his room?" asked doctor Hutton.

Brian looked up, frowned, and finally answered, "Inside his room, if that's possible?"

"I will ask the staff to bring a comfortable chair to Justin's room."

Brian nodded, and walked into Justin's room, he'd just reached the door when he heard Justin and Jennifer shouting.

"I told you not to! Can you once in your life try to honor my wishes and butt out from my life?"

"Justin honey, I just called him to tell him that you're in the hospital. He had the right to know, you're living with him now, not with Brian, speaking of him, what were you doing there?"

"I told you, I had to speak with him, and wanted to know something."

Brian stepped in, and looked over at Justin. Jennifer turned around, and looked sharply at him, "Oh no, Brian, you wont stay there, or in the hall for that matter like last time."

Brian shifted his eyes to Justin, and saw his eyes widened and thought to himself that Jennifer had just told her son that she knew he was at the hospital every night, and she'd never told him before now.

Justin moved and grabbed Jennifer by her arm, "You knew? And you never told me?"

"Justin you don't understand, it was so …"

"So what? I asked you if he came, you told me 'no' and then you even asked him to leave me alone, to never see me again? You're, this is just, …" Justin sighed in frustration.

Just then, the door opened silently and Ethan stepped into the room as Jennifer answered her son.

"Justin, you moved on, he shouldn't be here…" she turned around and looked over at Brian, "I really wish you would listen to me and leave my son alone. You're not together anymore, so just respect his choice."

Brian looked over at Justin, Jennifer and finally at Ethan, who waited at the door for the argument to be finished. Brian stilled his features, and looked over at Justin. He knew he was safe, and then looked over at Jennifer, he nodded and began to walk out, when he heard Justin, "Brian, please, stay, Brian? Brian?"

Jennifer walked over to Justin's bed, and tried to sooth him. She only unnerved him more. As Brian approached Ethan, the door opened and Doctor Hutton walked in with two orderlies. He asked them to escort Jennifer out of the room, and stopped in front of Brian, "You shouldn't leave."

Brian shrugged and answered, "She asked me to leave."

"And I tell you to stay, Brian."

Ethan watched the exchange, and walked over to the two men, his eyes were sad, but he spoke to Brian nevertheless. "After the party, he couldn't stop talking about you, as I was practicing, he sketched, and they were all about you. I never had him, not in bed, and even less when it comes to his feelings," Ethan stopped and looked over at the bed, where the nurses had sedated Justin. Jennifer was nearby, looking helplessly at her son. Ethan continued, "I told him to come see you, after the party, you left abruptly, and well, he was worried. I left to perform in the street and left him a note, I won't be trouble if you decide to get back together."

"We were never together," said Brian.

"Yeah whatever you said," smiled Ethan. He looked once more at Justin, "He doesn't know it, but I was offered an opportunity late last night. A three-year contract with the Chicago philharmonic, I had to give them my answer. I did it before Jennifer called, I will take the chance, tell him that I loved him, and that he gave me the strength to make the choice."

Brian nodded, Ethan walked to the door, turned around, "You should tell him how you feel, sometimes words are important too."

With this last word, Ethan left the room.

The Doctor looked over at Jennifer, "Mrs. Taylor, please, you must leave now."

Jennifer looked up from his son, "I want to stay here."

"You can't. Justin is an adult, and he gave specific orders," he walked over to the chart and let her read Justin's desire. "I authorize Brian Kinney to stay in my room, and don't want my mother around" is this your son writing?"

Jennifer nodded, and Doctor Hutton added, "Then I would suggest that you to leave."

Jennifer moved to the door, turned around and looked over at Brian, "This is all your fault."

Before she could add something more, she heard the fainted voice of her son, "No, it's not, I just tripped over my backpack, that's all."


"I don't want you here, you can go." Justin shifted his gaze toward Brian, "You staying?"

Brian nodded and walked to Justin's bed, and sat on the chair there, just then, the nurse came in with the comfortable chair Dr. Hutton had asked for a while before.

Brian stood up and moved into the new chair, the nurse adjusted Justin's bed, and left the room, as Dr. Hutton escorted Jennifer out the room.

Justin patted the bed near him; a silent invitation for Brian, who moved to sit on the edge of his chair and put his elbow on the bed.

Justin moved a little and looked at Brian, "Why didn't you tell me that you were there when I was hurt?"

Brian shrugged a little, and Justin continued, "Please, don't tell me it doesn't matter. You should have told me."

"I told you," whispered Brian back.

Justin frowned, closed his eyes, and inhaled deeply. A few seconds later, he murmured, "Oh my god, the first time you brought me back to the loft, the night I went to Woody's. You told me that you weren't my occupational therapist or my trauma specialist, or even my mother sitting there holding my hand. Christ how could I have not understood what you were telling me?"

"You just came out of a coma."

Justin nodded absentmindedly. He reached for Brian's hand. Brian accepted the connection, and didn't break the contact when Justin entwined their fingers. He stiffened, when he heard Justin's next question, "Did you ask for that song the night of my prom, or it was simple fate?"

Brian looked at Justin, after a while he answered, "Fate."

Justin nodded, and continued, "I was at Deb's and Emmett helped me with the tux, and everyone gushed over me when I came downstairs."

Brian nodded and ran his thumb over Justin's hand, encouraging him to go on, "I asked for a limousine, and then we drove to Daphne's, and finally to the Prom." He stopped and looked at Brian. "She was kinda beautiful in her dress," Brian nodded still running his thumb over Justin's hand. "You came in late. Daphne noticed you before me and you told me you were there to recapture your lost youth."

Brian nodded, heart hammering more rapidly, he moved in his seat. Justin looked over at him, and said, "Maybe I shouldn't talk about."

Brian squeezed Justin's hand, "I … We… Daphne and I tried to trigger your memory, until before you fell tonight, you didn't remember anything from the prom, or rather, you remembered just the last part."

Justin nodded, "All the missing parts came back to me, when I was in the SCAT SCAN, I had my eyes closed, and everything seemed to be there." Justin closed his eyes, and Brian thought he was asleep when Justin asked, "Why didn't you come to Vermont?"


"Vermont why didn't you join me?"

Brian opened his mouth, closed it again. With his free hand, he pinched the bridge of his nose. Justin saw the gesture, and added in a whisper, "If you don't want to answer never mind."

"Vance gave me an ultimatum; I had a week to prove myself. I put Cynthia to work and we found the Brown account, something Vance wanted for a long time. I had to do something or I would have been unemployed."

"Why didn't you tell me?"

"It wasn't your problem," said Brian.

"It is if you thought that somehow we were together," whispered Justin.

"I should have told you, I know. And we were together, just in our way."

Justin nodded, he squeezed Brian's hand, "Why'd you hit Michael?"

Brian stiffened and stood up, letting Justin's hand fall onto the bed. He walked to the window replaying Ethan's earlier words in his head: i he couldn't stop talking about you, as I was practicing, he sketched, and they were all about you. I never had him, not in bed, and even less when it comes to his feelings /i

He turned around, and looked at Justin, "He crossed a line, a line he never should have crossed." Justin nodded, Brian continued, but turned his back at Justin, "He didn't take it well the way we parted, I think I have to do something about that. He doesn't own me. Anyway, he said that I should have left you on that cold cement floor."

Justin gasped and put his hand over his mouth. Brian turned around and looked over at him. Brian continued, "I tried to shut him up, but he didn't listen to me, and he continued, and well I couldn't let him get away with that statement, I just reacted."

Justin lay there, astonished, he didn't move when he heard and felt the nurse taking his pulse and blood pressure. He just waited.

"I should have told you the truth that night when you asked me if I would care if you weren't there? I should have told you 'Yes' but you were right, I'm too afraid to let any people see I can, I can …"

"Love someone?" finished Justin for him.

Brian sighed in frustration, "I don't know, I just don't know Sunshine."

Justin ran a hand over his face, wondering how Brian, so strong couldn't express his real feeling.

He tried to assess the situation and after a few minutes, he lowered his bed, and shut the light.



"Why did you hire a male prostitute that looked like me?" He heard more than he saw Brian pacing at the end of his bed.

"I… I… look, it's none of your business."

"Brian?" whispered Justin. "I won't judge you, I won't say anything, and you should know that." Brian stopped pacing and sat on the chair next to Justin's bed. Justin continued, "Why Brian?"

Justin heard Brian's deep breath intake. "He wore almost the same clothes as you, he looked like you. I thought that… that I would get over the emptiness I felt since you … since you moved all your things from the loft," whispered Brian so low, Justin had to concentrate to hear him.

Justin moved his hand and tangled his fingers in Brian's hair, "You should really trust your feelings Brian."

"I don't have feelings."

"Bullshit, and you know it. Oww," shouted Justin.

Brian stood up quickly and turned on the lights, "You all right?"

"Yeah, I shouldn't have …" Justin, gestured to his head, "Moved so fast."

Brian nodded and made a move to leave the room, but Justin kept a hold on his arms. "I don't want you to leave," whispered Justin looking up at Brian who nodded and sat back down. Once again, Justin turned off the light.

"You have feelings, more than you will really admit it," Justin squeezed Brian's hand. "I saw it that first night, when you held Gus. You had that look in your eyes. I knew that you loved him, you had the same look when you kissed me after our dance, in the garage."

"You … you …" stammered Brian.

"Yeah, like I said all the missing pieces came back to me while lying on the table from the SCAT SCAN. They told me to close my eyes, and of think of something that made me feel good." Justin stopped and sighed, "I thought about the first time you, we, we made l… we fucked after Gus's first birthday, and everything came back to me."

"Made love," stated Brian.


"That time, we, we made love."

Justin smiled. Brian continued, "And you were right when you told me I said those words the first night, I did. Don't ask me why, but I did, it felt right."

"And now, what feels right Brian?" whispered Justin.

Brian squeezed Justin's hand and whispered, "You at the loft, in our bed. I shouldn't have said what I said at the loft, I just don't know how to …"

"Put your feelings into words?"

"I hate it when people finish each other's sentences," mumbled Brian.

Justin smiled, "Regardless of what you say or think, that's what 'couples' do, once they get to know each other."

"Yeah." Brian looked over at Justin and saw him yawn. "You're tired, you should rest now."

"No, I'm fine. We haven't finished yet."

"What do you want me to say?"

"What do you really want Brian? Just tell me what you really want and how you really feel," whispered Justin.

Brian stood up and leaned to Justin's ear, and whispered, "I want you to come home, I want you in our bed, I want to go to sleep with you and wake up with you." He stopped inhaled deeply, "I want to bury myself deep inside you, and I want you deep inside me too."

Justin moaned when he heard Brian's admission. Brian smiled, he moved and looked into Justin's eyes, leaning closer and kissed him slowly at first. They parted, Justin put his hand on Brian's neck to pull him back down, Brian obliged and he deepened the kiss.

After they parted a second time, Brian looked at Justin, "You really should rest."

"Will you stay here?"

"Yeah, I will stay here."

"All right."

Justin closed his eyes still clutching Brian's hand. Brian resumed his place on the chair and laid his head on Justin's bed.

A few moments later, the nurse came in and both men were asleep. She put a throw over Brian and checked on Justin.

Jennifer was standing at the door, she hadn't left the hospital, because she was waiting for Brian to leave. When she looked in the room, she saw her son sleeping with a smile on his face, and Brian's calm features.

She sighed. She'd never understand their relationship, but she knew that they were together again.

Brian sighed in his sleep. He was at peace for the first time in a week.