New Year's Eve (Evening)

Brian rolled his eyes as he heard the familiar sound of a bell ringing. He knew it couldn't be because someone he knew and at least sometimes loved was horny again; even men Justin's age had to have limits, surely, he thought smirking.

Sighing now that his anger as well as his libido had been assuaged somewhat by the last trip he had taken up to the bedroom, he closed his laptop in finality before turning out the study light and walking out into the hallway. "Keep your cast on, Your Highness, I'm coming!" he growled, shaking his head as he heard the tinkling of his instrument of torment sounding once more from above in saucy response.

He made a quick detour into the kitchen to retrieve a bottle of chilled champagne from the ice bucket on the counter, two crystal flutes and a silver, covered platter out of the refrigerator before walking over to the staircase for his ascent back up to the master bedroom; he made sure he turned off the rest of the house's lights in the meantime. He was not planning on coming back down for the rest of the evening; his hope was that a certain blond, slightly injured spitfire was no doubt going to be occupying the rest of his evening…..

"Bri-an," he heard a familiar, sing-song refrain coming from down the hall as he reached the landing. "It takes exactly 62 seconds to walk from the study to the master bedroom," was the accompanying lecture. "Where else have you been?"

Brian huffed in annoyance as he walked down the hall toward their room, thinking that someone had too much time on his hands. If that someone kept this up, he would be more than happy to even out someone's gait by spraining his other leg…..

"Justin! What the fuck do you think you're doing?" He said in alarm as he reached their bedroom and observed his partner lying half in, half off the bed; one leg was dangling near the floor while the rest of his body was still on the mattress like some discarded but well-loved, former childhood doll that had been hurriedly tossed aside for a newer toy. He quickly placed the champagne bottle down on the floor, along with the two glasses and tray and rushed over to push Justin partially back onto the bed.

"I needed to use the bathroom and I couldn't wait any longer," Justin grunted irritatingly in reply as he lay on top of the mattress, panting from his effort. "If someone had come up with I first tinkled the bell, I could have already been doing some tinkling myself instead of hanging on for dear life on the side of the bed."

Brian looked down into the annoyed blue eyes of his somewhat ungraceful-looking partner and wanted desperately to scowl back at him, but he just couldn't. The absurdity of what had been Brian and Justin, This is Your Life this past week appeared in his mind and he couldn't help bursting out laughing as he shook his head and grinned instead.

Justin tried to remain indignant, but he was finding it difficult to do so in his current, gangly situation; it was hard to stay dignified when he thought of having one leg off the bed and the other, injured leg on the bed; besides, his sprained leg was beginning to throb like crazy and his bladder was urgently calling for attention. He finally twisted his lips wryly at his partner before he, too, couldn't help smiling a little as he realized how crazy their lives had become. "I still need to 'tinkle,' Brian," he reminded him playfully, his eyebrows raised as he supported his upper body by his elbows.

Brian curled his lips under in amusement. Turning to pick up the infamous bell, he gave it a small 'tinkle' before placing it back down on the table.

"That's NOT the tinkle I meant!" Justin growled as he flopped down on the bed in disgust. He heard Brian chuckling at his predicament before he walked over and scooped him up unexpectedly with surprising gentleness and care. He quickly linked his hands around Brian's neck as he came close to losing his balance as he was swept up into a pair of strong, confident arms.

"I'm not crippled, Brian," he half-protested somewhat feebly as Brian stood up cradling him, his arms firmly gripping his thighs. Truthfully, he rather liked being held in his partner's arms at the moment; in fact, he liked it quite a bit….and a particular part of his now-clothed anatomy felt the same way, too.

Brian smirked as his eyes raked down the slender body to rest upon the obvious sign of arousal under Justin's loosely-fitting sweats. "So soon, Sunshine?" he asked softly. "I would have thought after the last go-round that you would have been good for least a few more hours."

Justin snorted. "Don't flatter yourself, Kinney," he said defensively in a half-hearted attempt to maintain at least some degree of dignity. "I'm just…..cold, that's all. I suffer from a circulation problem."

Now it was Brian's turn to snort as he grinned. "Well, as soon as you tinkle, as you so eloquently put it, I'll just have to find a way to warm you up and get some circulation going in the affected body parts, then, won't I?" He couldn't resist leaning down to capture Justin's lips in a sound kiss before beginning to carry his partner over to the master bedroom. As they walked over, Justin got a peek at what Brian had brought upstairs with him. "What's on that tray?" he asked, craning his neck around Brian's body so he could see more clearly. "It looks like food."

Brian rolled his eyes as he spun them around, effectively blocking Justin's vision to the blond's consternation. "Everything looks like food to you. I thought you needed to take a piss," he pointed out, trying to avert the subject. He was going to have a hard enough time living down the flagrant display of romantic nonsense he had somehow talked himself into later once Justin realized what he had brought up with him.

As Justin huffed in frustration, Brian smiled at his partner's reaction as he walked his precious but chatty cargo into the expansive, marble-tiled master bathroom and gently eased Justin's legs down onto the floor, being careful to keep his injured ankle off the hard surface as he supported the slender body easily with his own weight. As he helped Justin hobble over to the toilet, he thought about all the times a few years before when Justin had helped him endure the horrid bouts of nausea he had endured during his cancer treatment. He figured even if his smart-aleck partner was way too talkative for his own good, this small inconvenience of having to be at Justin's every beck and call was very insignificant next to what Justin had done for him in the past. He just wasn't going to tell Justin that – no sense in giving the boy another 'big head.'

"Now you be a good little boy and make sure you don't miss," he cautioned Justin as the blond turned to stick out his tongue at him maturely. He made sure Justin was holding onto the nearby vanity for support before he said, "I'll be right back. Don't go anywhere or do anything foolish until I return, klutzy."

Justin glared at him, but couldn't help wondering what Brian was up to. He knew he wouldn't just leave him here indefinitely, because he worried constantly that he was going to reinjure his ankle. So why was he leaving him here like this now? He turned his head to watch as Brian pointed his index finger at him to remind him to behave before he quickly rushed out of the room. He smiled, though, as he heard the distinctive sound of glasses clinking together. Now he understood where his partner went, but he still wasn't sure what else he was up to. He then heard what sounded like a log being thrown into the fireplace and his smile broadened even more. He hated this damn injury to his ankle, but he was beginning to like this waiting hand-on-foot treatment by the man he loved; it was so…romantic.

He pulled his sweats back up just before Brian reappeared at the doorway; he looked over at his partner and smiled at him warmly. Brian eyed him warily, realizing that his partner's acute hearing had no doubt picked up on what he had been up to. "Let's go, Peg Leg," he said as Justin giggled. The brunet walked over and once more placed his arm around Justin's waist to help him hobble back into the bedroom.

Justin's smile broadened even more as Brian walked them over to the fireplace, which was quickly blazing into an intense fire; his partner had no doubt thrown one of those starter logs onto the grill to hasten the process. What delighted Justin most of all, however, was the small spread lying on a corner of the plush rug in front of the fireplace. Brian had placed an oval, silver-colored frame there with two tall, narrow crystal flutes, a bottle of chilled champagne, and a covered platter of some sort.

He stopped in awe and couldn't help a few tears from stinging his eyes as he turned to Brian and murmured, "Why, Mr. Kinney, if I didn't know better, I would say you were trying to have a picnic on the floor with me! Are you suffering from a split personality?"

Brian glared at him – at least, he tried to appear that way, but something told him he was failing miserably at it the longer Justin stared at him with that look. "I'm going to have a splitting headache if you don't quit your incessant yapping soon," he warned as Justin harumpfed softly in reply.

As they hobbled over the rest of the way to the fireplace and Brian gently lowered Justin to sit with his legs spread out in front of him, he joined him a few seconds later before the blond quipped, "Well, I guess you'll just have to find a way to shut me up, then." He peered over innocently at the brunet and licked his lips suggestively.

Brian pursed his lips together to keep from smiling at the cheesy comeback. "You twat," Brian growled, just before he pushed on Justin's shoulder to flop him down onto the rug and begin ravaging his lips possessively. Justin managed a rumbling chuckle in reply just before he was effectively shut up by Brian's tongue plunging inside. He moaned in pleasure at the sensual onslaught before he, too, pressed his tongue outward. He felt Brian's hands began to roam down his chest and sighed in contentment as he, too, reached over to begin unbuttoning his partner's shirt in a fervent attempt to feel the warm, taut flesh he knew was lying temptingly underneath. He decided that this particular treatment was much more pleasurable and effective than his pain meds could ever be as he heard Brian sighing in pleasure at his own ministrations….

He had just begun to pull Brian's shirt aside and start for his pants when the shrill ringing of Brian's cell phone interrupted them. Justin groaned as he pulled his mouth away from Brian's and whispered breathlessly against his neck, "Let it to go to voicemail."

Brian wanted nothing more than to do just that, but he had asked his son to call him when he got home so he could make sure he and his moms had arrived safely, and he wanted to wish him a Happy New Year's. He also knew that was one of the few reasons why Justin would allow him to answer it. "It's probably Gus," he struggled to breathe out; he was having a hard time concentrating while Justin's hands were roaming all over him and he was suckling his earlobe right where he knew it made him crazy with desire. "Stop that," he reprimanded, barely able to get the words out as Justin chuckled at his reaction. "Fucker."

Justin sighed a little but he stopped his sensual onslaught long enough for Brian to take a breath and reach up onto the nearby, small antique table to grab his phone. Taking a quick peek to confirm it was who he thought it was, he smiled over at Justin slightly before flipping it open. "Hey, Sonny Boy! Get back home okay?"

Justin watched Brian's face as he spoke with his son. The only other person besides himself that ever saw that tender smile on his handsome partner's face was Gus. The two men shared a mutual look of affection for the little boy as Brian nodded, "I'm glad you got home okay, Buddy. Are you and your moms doing anything to celebrate New Year's Eve?"

Justin continued to drink in Brian's face as he continued his conversation with his son, watching as a myriad of emotions flashed across his bronzed face: love, tenderness, vulnerability….all the feelings that Brian normally held inside and only allowed him to see when they were in private. He treasured that fact as he heard Brian mention his name. "Yeah, Justin's fine – driving me crazy, but he's fine." He looked over at the blond and waggled his eyebrows at the double meaning of that statement that only the two of them were aware of as Justin smiled back at him in understanding and blushed a little.

Justin watched then as a look he couldn't quite decipher crossed his partner's face as he turned to look away from him; just before he did, however, he had caught a glimmer of what? Embarrassment? Indecision? He frowned, not quite sure what to read into his expression, before he heard his name being mentioned again and his ears perked up.

"No, I haven't yet, Buddy….but I promise I will," Brian was saying softly. What were they talking about?

Brian stole a glance over at Justin, who was eyeing him intently. Damn – he knew Justin would pick up on anything that sounded odd to him. He forced his attention back to his son as he answered another question. "I promise, Sonny Boy – yeah...tonight."

Justin frowned as he absorbed Brian's part of the father-son conversation, wondering what they were discussing; somehow he had a sneaking suspicion it had something to do with him. He looked over at Brian who turned finally to face him with a soft smile on his face.

"You sure can, Sonny Boy…..hold on a second, okay?" There was a slight pause before Brian added tenderly, "I love you, too, Buddy," before he held the phone out to the blond. "The doctor wants to talk to his patient," he explained, smiling, as Justin took the phone from him.

Justin twisted his lips affectionately as he raised the phone to his ear. "How you doing, Gus? Get back home okay?"

"Yeah," Gus answered happily. "And we have lots of snow here, too, Jus'n!" he reported excitedly. "And Mommy promised me we could go ice skating at the park, just like you and I did!"

Justin laughed. "Well, I hope not exactly like you and I did – I don't want you to fall down and hurt yourself like I did, okay? You make sure you hold your Mommy's hand until you get really good at skating by yourself – you promise?"

"Okay," was the half-hearted reply as Justin looked over at Brian and smiled.

"Have you talked to Daddy yet?" Gus asked him suddenly.

Justin's smile faded a little as he noticed Brian staring at him, no doubt picking up on his change in expression. "About what, Buddy?" he asked, although he had a feeling he knew what the question was referring to already.

"About staying at Britin with him," was the anticipated question.

Justin sighed. Some little boys reminded him too much of their fathers….. "Not yet, Gus….but I will."

Now it was Brian's turn to stare at him curiously. Justin and Gus were obviously discussing him, but what was it about? As Brian raised his eyebrows in a silent question about it, Justin smiled shyly before inexplicably turning his head to stare into the flames thoughtfully. Brian frowned – normally his son's conversations with Justin were very light, sometimes downright juvenile – at times it almost sounded like they were the same age, in fact; this one, though, seemed much more serious in nature. "Tonight," he heard Justin say firmly.

He watched as Justin turned back to face him with a more relaxed look on his face. "Yes, he's taking my vitals regularly," he reported. "But I think he prefers to use a rectal thermometer." Brian guffawed at that statement as Justin grinned back at him. He watched as a rather embarrassed look crossed Justin's face as he covered his eyes with his hand and said to Gus, "Uh….ask your mommy about that, okay?" as Brian laughed softly at his discomfiture.

"I'd better let you go, Buddy," Justin said to the little boy. "It's almost your bedtime and you still have to celebrate New Year's. We'll say Happy New Year for you at midnight – we'll be thinking about you and looking forward to seeing you again soon, okay?" He glanced over at Brian and smiled. "Yeah, I'll give him a kiss for you, trust me," he said, evoking a knowing grin from his partner in return. "Lots of them."

As he flipped the phone shut softly, he turned to gaze at his partner tenderly. "He really would make a good doctor, you know – he must have inherited his bedside manner from his father."

Brian grinned as he pulled Justin's body back over and, placing his hand at the back of Justin's neck, pulled his head in once more for another resounding kiss. As they pulled back a few seconds later, he murmured huskily, "I'll have to keep practicing my technique on you, though, so I don't get rusty."

Justin stared into the intense, hazel eyes and whispered breathlessly as his pulse raced, "I don't think that's ever going to happen, Doctor."

The two men gazed at each other silently for several seconds as the flames from the fire continued to build in crescendo, much like their passion for each other. Unbeknownst to them, each man was thinking the same thought – there was no way they could ever be apart for very long, not like they were existing presently. And that's all it was when they were away from each other - existing...



Both laughed at the perfect synchronization of their greeting before Justin said, "You first. What?"

Brian twisted his lips fondly as he gazed into the blue eyes he loved so well. "What were you and Gus talking about before? I could tell it was about me."

Justin licked his lips; damn, he had thought he was dodging the bullet temporarily, making Brian start first, and it had backfired on him. "We were talking about a little bit of everything," he said vaguely, reaching up to brush some stray hair out of Brian's eyes; the brunet was eyeing him carefully, the eyes boring intriguingly into his with hints of gold speckled among the hazel orbs.

"Justin?" Brian said softly, pressing. "Sounded like it was pretty serious to me. What was Gus saying?"

Justin sighed; it was now or never. He had promised Gus and he had promised himself; no matter what it took, he had to convince Brian that this was what he wanted. Gus had already told him it was what Brian had wanted…..Please, let him be right...

"He was asking me if I had talked to you yet about what he and I were discussing the other day at the lake."

Brian gazed into the pale face. "You mean when you took a tumble and were disqualified permanently from the Olympic tryouts?" he joked teasingly.

Justin smiled a little. "Yeah….that would be it; not my most graceful moment," he admitted. "But I had a good reason, I think."

Brian eyed him curiously as he idly fingered Justin's hair at his neck. "You did?"

"Yes," Justin responded softly.

"What?" He asked, a little concerned. He could tell by the intense look on his partner's face that whatever it was, it was definitely not their typical, light conversation. "Tell me," he said gently.

"Gus had just told me about what you and he had talked about the night before when you went up to read him his bedtime story and I got a little carried away," he finally divulged sheepishly, noticing a look of realization flicker across Brian's face; he could tell that Brian knew he wasn't referring to "Wild Things" anymore, at least not the type that was written about in a children's book. "Why didn't you tell me, Brian?" he asked pointedly. "It would have saved us both a lot of wasted time and effort."

Brian's heart sped up; was Justin saying what he hoped he was saying? He had to be sure before he put his cards – and his heart – out on the table. "What do you mean, Sunshine?" he whispered, holding his breath as he waited for a reply.

Justin shook his head in amusement; it was obvious one of them was going to have to spell it out. He lowered his hand from Brian's hair to his mouth to trace lovingly across the full, lower lip as he responded fervently, "What I mean, Mr. Kinney, is that I do not wish to live in the big, bad world of the Big Apple any longer. What I mean is that I want to come home and live here, with you. What I mean is that I can't imagine us living apart any longer because I fucking love and miss you more with each day. And what I mean is that if you don't shut me up any second, I'm going to assume that you don't f…."

He wasn't able to finish his sentence before with an exalted growl Brian pushed him down on the rug and plastered his lips to his as Justin's heart filled with joy. It wasn't exactly a verbal response, but it didn't matter – it spoke volumes in its intensity and emotion as their lips suckled and rubbed against each other and their tongues snaked out to deepen their response.

As he held Justin by the shoulders several seconds later and pulled back to gaze down into the twinkling eyes, Brian smirked. "Was that the answer you were looking for?"

Justin beamed at him. "I think it'll do for now," he answered solemnly. "But I think it's time for you to check out my body temperature now. I think I'm suddenly feeling feverish again."

Brian grinned. "I think I know just the thermometer to take care of that little problem."

Two Hours Later – Just before Midnight

"You know, for someone's who's been in New York for several months, you have surprisingly little property to ship back home," Brian observed as Justin sat on the rug, studiously writing down a short list of what he would need to have sent back home to Britin as soon as his last art show there was concluded. Home….Britin. He thought he had never heard anything more wonderful in his life.

"Well, my roommate wants to keep most of my ratty furniture," he explained, smiling at his lover. "And most of everything else involves my art." He added softly, "I never really accumulated too much while I lived there – I guess I always knew it would be just temporary – at least I always hoped so."

Brian reached to gently take the notepad and pencil away from his partner and set it down on the floor before he retrieved the champagne bottle and two crystal flutes from the silver tray. "I'll drink to that," he said softly. Popping open the bottle adroitly, he waited until the brief rush of liquid had subsided before he deftly poured some champagne into the stemware and handed one to Justin.

The antique, imposing grandfather clock located just down the hall that they had purchased before moving into their stately mansion dutifully began to chime on the midnight hour just then, signaling the start of a new year and the start of a new life for both men.

"Here's to the best year of our lives, Sunshine," Brian toasted sincerely, raising his glass to clink with his partner's; Justin smiled back at him with tears of happiness in his eyes as they both sipped from their respective glasses and by seemingly mutual accord, placed their glasses down on the floor before coming together again for their first kiss of the new year. It would surely be just the start of many new kisses to come for them, thanks in large part to a small, sweet, diminutive little boy.

"And here's to Gus – our own little doctor of love," Justin added as Brian laughed just before he raised the platter's lid and retrieved a chocolate-covered strawberry.

"Happy New Year to you, Doctor," Brian toasted dutifully, raising the strawberry in the air in tribute before placing it near the willing lips of his partner's.

Happy New Year, indeed…..

A/N: Thank you so much for reading and reviewing this story - I hope you enjoyed it. Happy (belated) New Year to all my readers!:)