Three Months Later - Kinnetik
"Justin!" Cynthia exclaimed in delight as she glanced up to see the blond walking in with a spring in his step. At the time of his terrifying experience at the hands of Lane Prescott, it had been a few months before Brian had finally admitted what exactly had been going on during that awful period of Justin's torment. It was only after Justin had finally improved considerably that, with his husband's permission, her boss had told her what had happened to him. She had been absolutely horrified to hear what had occurred, but her admiration for Justin's courage and determination had grown even deeper as she watched him persevere and eventually triumph over what had been done to him. And from the looks both men constantly gave each other, and the tender, heart-filled touches they demonstrated every time they were together, it would be obvious to anyone, even a stranger, that their love was stronger than ever.
Justin looked at her warmly, appreciative of Cynthia's steadfast loyalty to Brian all these years; he knew that his husband could always count on her completely to handle whatever he threw at her. Brian was a strong, dominating, forceful man and it took someone just as assertive to stand up to him; he was grateful that Cynthia admirably filled that role for him.
"Hi, Cynthia," he said, smiling, as he approached her desk. "Is Brian in his office?"
She nodded, returning his smile. "Yeah….I'm glad you're here; he's been a real bastard today and you always cheer him up. I'm always glad to see YOU – it makes my job so much easier."
Justin laughed. "I'm not sure if I want to go in there or not – what's wrong this time?"
She rolled her eyes. "Oh, just the latest fuck-up from the art department." She eyed him intently. "Sure you don't need another job besides the one you've got? It sure would solve two problems at once, and something tells me my boss wouldn't object."
Justin grinned. "No, thanks. I like my day job. Besides, I get him at night, remember?"
"You've got a point there," she said wryly. "Well, good luck with the grouch – want to take my vase with you in case you need something to throw?"
Justin chuckled; it felt so damn good to laugh again. He shook his head. "I'll take my chances," he told her as she nodded. He walked down the familiar hallway, acknowledging some of the employees he knew before he approached Brian's open office door. He smiled as he heard the familiar bellow coming from within.
"No, Jensen! You and your kindergarten students have two – count 'em, TWO – hours to get the fucking boards up to standards or you will be using finger paints to fill out your unemployment applications, you got it?" He could hear the office phone being slammed down as he peeked his head inside the door, only to duck as a glass paperweight came flying over his head to land with a crash on the opposite side of the wall. He smirked; Cynthia had been right on about needing to defend himself.
"Trying out for the Pirates' spring training camp?" he deadpanned as he raised his head back up to stare at his husband in amusement. "I didn't know you had such a good pitching arm."
Brian's fury over his latest employees' screw-up instantly abated as he saw the beautiful face of his husband smiling back at him, free of the anguish, fear and worry that had threatened to consume him for so long. Oh, he realized everything wasn't all peaches and cream yet – Justin still had periodic bouts of nasty dreams where he relived what had happened to him – but they were farther and farther apart now, and when he did have them, he was there to instantly reassure him that Prescott would never hurt him ever again. Dr. Anderson had been so pleased with Justin's progress that their last counseling session had been more than a month ago; he had been satisfied that together, the two of them could weather any emotional residual effects that remained.
And their lovemaking – it was still as passionate, dynamic, and tumultuous as ever – even more so, in his opinion, because it had been tempered now with an even greater understanding of just how deep their love was and how strongly committed they were to each other. Under those circumstances, there was no way he could remain angry when Justin showed up, because his worries instantly faded away into pleasure at seeing the man he loved made whole again.
He smiled as Justin walked into the room and he swept him up into his embrace; the two men kissed deeply for a few seconds until he reluctantly pulled back enough to gaze into the sparkling eyes, so alive now with life and happiness. "Sure you did," he said, grinning. "You play with my balls all the time," he pointed out, waggling his eyebrows playfully as he curled his lips under in that little, mischievous boy look that Justin loved.
He achieved the desired laugh from the blond as he couldn't resist giving his husband one more quick kiss on the lips. "Well, if you didn't come here to play ball, Sunshine, what are you doing here?" He leaned down to whisper in his ear, "Sure you don't need to go to the bathroom?"
Justin laughed. "No, I don't need to go to the bathroom," he said as Brian pretended to pout. "I think I can wait a few more hours for you to fuck me."
Brian shrugged, stroking the soft flesh of his husband's back tenderly. "Your loss, Mr. Taylor-Kinney," he quipped with a smile. He released Justin to lead him gently over to the couch. "So to what do I owe the pleasure of your company?" he asked. He held onto Justin's hand as he pulled him down onto the couch to sit next to him. Their hands remained linked together as he looked at the blond expectantly.
Justin looked a little nervous, his face full of some unreadable emotion all of a sudden as he looked over at Brian.
"Something wrong?" the brunet asked softly, his facetiousness promptly replaced with concern. He thought everything was going well; he certainly had no complaints. He was happier than he had ever been. To his relief, Justin shook his head and smiled.
"No," he said. "I just had something to give you and I didn't want to wait."
"I thought you just got through saying you could wait," he teased him, achieving a slight smirk in return.
"Not that," Justin said softly. "It's just a little gift I wanted you to have – to let you know how much you mean to me."
Brian frowned. "But you already got me that," he pointed out, glancing over to his desk where the magnificent portrait of him and Gus was proudly displayed. With everything that had happened over the past few months, it had only been recently that Justin had recalled he had left Brian's anniversary present nestled in the trunk of his car. Brian hadn't minded, though – he had been delighted with Justin's gift to him. Even now, his uncanny way of bringing people he loved to life made him both envious and proud of his husband's talent. "And I've got YOU," he said, almost embarrassed at his heartfelt words. "I don't need anything else."
Justin flushed with pleasure over the compliment. "Neither do I," he said softly with a smile. "But I wanted you to have this anyway." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small, black, rectangular, cardboard jewelry box. He held it out to Brian, who eyed it curiously before reaching to grasp it in the palm of his hand.
"Open it," Justin encouraged him, turning to angle his body toward his husband.
Brian nodded. He gingerly lifted the lid of the box and placed it down on the cushion to peer inside. At first, all he saw with white tissue paper. He reached in to pull out the top layer to finally figure out what was inside. "Justin….." He sucked in a sharp, surprised intake of breath at the sight as he pulled out a clear, crystal figurine of an angel hanging on a thin, gold-colored nylon rope.
He gazed in shock at his husband. "I….Why? I'm surprised….After you said…"
"I know," Justin replied softly as Brian cradled the shimmering figurine gently in the palm of his hand. "But after what happened…..after everything we've been through…..I realized something. I don't feel nauseous anymore, I don't feel sick at the sight of them. Because you know why?"
Brian shook his head as he looked in wonder at the angel cradled in his hand, a sign of how far Justin had come.
"Because of you, Brian. You're my guardian angel. So all I see now when I look at that is how much you love me and how much I love you. And how you'll always be there to protect me, just like you always have." He leaned over to take Brian's other hand, his thumb caressing the tender flesh. "Now angels make me happy; YOUmake me happy."
Brian gently closed his hand around the precious object. "I think this is the most wonderful gift I've ever received," he told Justin. "Besides you and Gus," he added tenderly, leaning over to bestow another kiss on the soft lips. "Thank you," he whispered. "I'll treasure it." Just like you, he thought as he gazed into the blue eyes so full now of happiness and hope.
He stood next to the couch and peered down at his husband. "I think I'm ready to go home, Sunshine," he told the blond as he placed the angel carefully back into the box. He reached down his hand to pull Justin up alongside him. "Let's go home and fuck; you've made me horny now."
Justin laughed. "My pleasure," he told him, as arms around each other's waists, they walked out of the office, the angel tucked securely away in Brian's pocket.
A/N: Thank you to everyone who read and reviewed - I am deeply appreciative of your support.:)