*sings* And now, the end is near and so I face the final curtain… *stops singing because glass is starting to shatter*
So, we've made it all the way to the final episode. A moment for all 82 bloody episodes. I've really enjoyed writing this and I'm glad that so many of you have reviewed and alerted and faved this story - you have no idea how much that means.
So … here we go with the very last episode…. (I've started with my favourite scene of the episode … The STAG DO!)
"Er, 'ello, could I speak to Mr Taylor please?" A man said with a dodgy French accent down the phone. Or more accurately, Michael said with a dodgy French accent.
"Michael?" Justin frowned.
"Shhhhh," Michael hushed angrily. "I don't want Brian to know I called."
"Well, he's in the shower so I doubt he can hear you … or your accent."
"Well, that was Hunter's idea."
"Yeah, that's it," Hunter's voice could be clearly heard in the background, "blame the kid."
"I am blaming you," Michael responded, "now get back to your homework, I'm talking to Justin."
Justin couldn't help smile as he over heard the conversation, Michael telling his son to do homework. That could him and Brian someday or whenever Gus was plagued by homework that he wouldn't want to do. They'd have to tell him he wasn't allowed in the pool until it was all done and then, Justin would cook them all a meal and they'd sit around the table and eat together. But that was a few years off yet, Justin still wanted to club and dance at the moment, he wanted to slide around Woody's with a ring on his finger that told everyone that he was Brian's and that Brian was his. He wanted to play pool and darts and drink and maybe dance a little before falling into bed with the man he loved.
"Justin, did you get that?" Michael shouted in his ear.
"What? Huh?" Justin asked, he'd been so preoccupied with his fantasy, he'd lost all track of Michael's plan.
"Christ, artists," he muttered, "so easily distracted."
"Hey!" Justin protested.
"Listen," Michael cut him off. "Just get Brian to Woodies after 8. We're having a surprise Stag Party."
"We'll be there," Justin grinned.
"Okay then, and don't get distracted and end up fucking. I know what newly weds are like."
"We're not married yet," Justin pointed out but the smile was just as apparent in his voice as it was on his face. "Oh, the shower's just turned off," Justin whispered. "I gotta go. See you later."
He was just setting the phone down as Brian strolled into the room stark naked still dripping wet. Justin smiled hungrily and minced over.
"Hold it," Brian sighed, stretching out an arm so that his palm rested in the centre of Justin's chest. "I have to go to work, otherwise we're not going to be able to afford to get married, especially as we're forking out for Golden Gardenias."
"Fine," huffed Justin, settling for a kiss instead. "I'll go over to my apartment and work on some new pieces. You know Lindsey said people keep calling her wanting to buy my work - how great is that?"
"Great," Brian said going to the fridge and getting a bottle of water. Justin smiled.
"I'll see you this evening," Justin said, giving Brian one last kiss before leaving the apartment and heading straight for Woodys.
He ran up the steps beneath the red awning and was just going through the door when the burly doorman stuck out an arm and stopped.
"What the fuck?" Justin complained.
"You Justin Taylor?"
"Yeah," Justin frowned puzzled.
"I'm under strict instructions not to let you or your fiancé in here until tonight." Justin was disappointed for a moment as he tried to lean around the doorman to see what was going on inside but it was useless. Shit. He really would have to go to his apartment and paint. He turned and walked down the steps and just as he reached the bottom step the doorman called, "by the way, Mr Taylor," Justin turned to look at the other man, "congratulations."
Justin just beamed at him. "Thanks."
Set after Brian decided NOT to go with the hustler/stripper guy
"What?" Brian demanded as he saw the look on Justin's face.
"Are you feeling alright?"
"Never better," Brian smiled leaning in to kiss the younger man gently.
"But that guy was hot."
"You're hotter," Brian shrugged.
And that just made Justin frown even more. Brian had been spouting things like this ever since they'd decided to get married. He kept telling Justin how hot he was, how beautiful he was, how he was all he needed. He was like Mr Perfect, Mr Romantic. But it wasn't right, it wasn't … Brian.
"Jesus Christ," moaned Brian, when he saw the look on Justin's face, "what now?"
"Nothing," Justin shook his head. "It doesn't matter."
Brian pulled a face which meant he knew Justin was lying to him but he just took another sip of his drink and smiled as another guy who's name he couldn't remember came over offering to buy them both a drink as a congratulations. He slid his arm around Justin's shoulders and kissed him again on the temple as he accepted the drink. The guy nodded and went off to the bar. Brian looked around as his friends and family danced and partied around him and decided he could be the man to give up all his old life for the man he loved.
Set after the 'wouldn't you rather just cuddle' scene, when Brian and Justin make the decision to call off the wedding.
"So," Justin drawled, his hand running down his face, "what do we do?"
"We do what we have to do. You go to New York and become the biggest, most successful fucking artist you can be and I stay here and be the best fucking ad man I can be."
Justin nodded silently before turning his head to the side and saying softly, "I can't imagine being anywhere without you."
"It's like Debbie once said, 'we're just making different choices, that's all - it doesn't mean we don't still love each other.'"
"And we'll still see each other," Justin pointed out. "You can come to New York to visit and Deb will be dragging me back to Pittsburgh all the time."
Brian smiled. "Well, I never could get rid of you. I guess moving to another state's not going to stop you."
Justin gave a small chuckle before fixing his eyes carefully on Brian and whispering, "I love you."
"Me too," Brian replied solemnly and they both gave a watery smile before kissing gently, lovingly. Then Justin flicked off the lights and they went back to just lying there, staring towards the ceiling thinking about where this was taking them. They were still holding on to each other, it was as though they couldn't bear to be even slightly apart now that they knew this time was getting short. Brian knew he'd be able to go up to see Justin whenever he needed to. Hell, even some of his clients were in New York, he could claim it as a business trip if he wanted. Maybe he could look into buying a private plane with the money he'd get from selling Babylon and Bri-tin. He had no doubt that this whatever it was that they had … love, would be able to survive a few hundred miles of separation. After all, they'd survived Justin's homophobic father, they'd survived the bashing, they'd survived fucking Ian and Stockwell, the Pink Posse, cancer and Hollywood. They'd survived every single goddamn thing that had been thrown at them … and they'd survive this too. Brian was sure about that.
"If you ever need anything," Brian said slowly his voice breaking through the darkness. "Money, a place, anything … just, let me know. Just because you're living in a different state it doesn't mean I won't be there to support you."
"I know," Justin said quietly. "But I won't ask you for anything unless I really need it."
"Well, don't be a twot about it," Brian warned jokingly. "I don't wanna go to New York and find you're working your ass as a go-go boy … again."
Justin laughed a little through his nose and elbowed Brian playfully in the ribs. But their jokey mood didn't last long as the silence engulfed them once again and they starred up at the ceiling in the pitch-black bedroom. This was serious now, Justin could feel it, this was real; really real. Brian was making plans for the future, telling him not to worry about money, explaining that even if he was miles and miles away he'd still take care of him. And Justin knew, without any doubt, that he and Brian would be okay, despite this. They didn't need marriage, they didn't even need monogamy, all they needed was love and maybe a little determination. And the Taylor-Kinney Liberty Avenue power couple were nothing if not ridiculously in love and fiercely determined.
"I could have done it you know," Brian said eventually into the darkness.
It took a while for Justin to respond and Brian was just beginning to wonder if the younger man had fallen asleep when he asked softly,
"Been monogamous," Brian stated, "for you." He felt the younger man squeeze his hand.
"I know you could," Justin said seriously. "And I could have given up New York … for you."
Justin could feel Brian's head moving in a slow nod on the pillow and then, in the darkness and in the quiet where it was just them and would always be them, Brian said,
"I love you Justin Taylor. Always have, always will."
And it did survive because their love was stronger than that mangled, possessive jealousy that people mistake as love. Their love was that one in a million connection with another soul that's so deep inside and so intrinsically you that it can never be destroyed. It's the love little girls dream about and writers write about and people wish was there own. It's a love that survives everything that's thrown at it and that's how we know it's a love that lived on long after the camera's stopped rolling….
That and CowLip said so in an interview… and I can't think of a happier ending than that.
So there it is … I hope this is okay as a last chapter - I felt all under pressure haha.
Anyway, once again, thanks to everyone who's reviewed this fic, who's alerted or faved it, I could never have expected the response to be so positive and thanks to all those silent readers too … you know who you are!
Soooooo, now the time has come to leave one last little review. It would mean a lot to hear everyone's final thoughts! Go on all you alert-ers and fave-ers just hit that review button and say hi … you know you want to! Go on … please! I'll even take a little smiley face =D or a sad face if you didn't like it =( but your opinions mean a lot to me! *smiles in a way she hopes will make people feel sorry for her and review*.
Thanks again to each and everyone of you who made it this far!