Pairing: Brian and Justin
Timeline: Post 513
Summary: Christmas Eve at Britin Manor, where the eggnog is killer strong!
A/N: Written for the Evil Kinney Girls Merry Fucking Christmas Project
Justin scowled at the half-finished work of crap propped on his easel and rubbed his weary eyes. Who in his right mind would ever buy such inferior quality art? Unable to shake his pervading depression, he decided to quit for the day, wishing like hell he'd never come to New York in search of fame and success. Selling a whopping two whole paintings in the year he'd been there, the only thing he could successfully claim was failure.
Pulling the woolen scarf tighter around his neck, Justin trudged through the snow toward the apartment he shared with Daphne's friend, the biting December cold seeping into his bones. He was just about to duck into the corner Starbucks for a piping hot triple latte, but that was before he remembered he didn't have a ten-dollar bill to his name.
"Jesus, Amy! It's colder in here than it is outside!" he bitched after climbing nine flights of stairs to the hole-in-the-wall he called home. "Why don't you turn up the heat?!" Stomping over to the thermostat, he mentally cursed his best friend for neglecting to inform him he'd be sharing space with a lunatic.
Amy looked up from her book and buttoned her sweater, already pissed to be missing her afternoon soap operas. "Well, Justin, the power was cut off hours ago. In case you've forgotten, it was your turn to pay the utility bill this month. When do you think that will be happening?"
"Oh, shit! I . . . I'm going to. I just need to sell a painting . . ."
"I thought you had a rich boyfriend. Why can't you ask him to help you out with expenses?"
"Had is the key word there, Amy. I had a rich boyfriend." Justin sighed, staring through the dingy window panes above the sofa. He wondered how big of a splat his body would make on the pavement below while the morning headline flashed before his eyes: Despondent Artist Jumps From Nine Stories Up! "Calling off our wedding and moving to New York kind of screwed things up for me, you know?"
Amy's eyebrows raised into her forehead. "You broke up?! Daphne told me she'd never seen a greater love. She said it was so romantic how you tamed the untamable beast and that she hoped to find the man of her dreams someday like you found yours." Wrinkling up her nose, Amy only wanted to know one thing. "How does a love like that not stand the test of time?"
"Yeah," Justin scoffed. Blinking back his misery, he headed off to the privacy of his freezing bedroom to nurse his heartache. "To quote the untamable beast, 'It's only time.'"
. . .
"Oh, Brian, everything looks amazing! You've really turned this place into a home!" Debbie stepped into Britin's foyer with Michael and Ben, practically swooning as she inhaled the heavenly aroma of gingerbread cookies baking in the kitchen. Taking in the holiday atmosphere all around her, she hugged her host and kissed him on the cheek. "So you invited all of us out here to your country manor on Christmas Eve? Jesus Christ! You're downright domesticated!"
Brian shrugged at Michael, finally unresistant. "Welcome to Stepford, where the fags are blissfully happy, healthy, and in the Christmas spirit."
"Another satisfied convert!" Ben put his arm around Michael and laughed.
Hanging their coats in the entry closet, Brian escorted his friends into the lavishly decorated great room, where the rest of the gang was already gathered. "Help yourself to the cakes and pastries on the dining room table. Emmett and Darren are in the kitchen, baking more as we speak. Let me get you some eggnog."
"When can we open the presents, Dad?" Gus crawled under the Christmas tree, squealing with delight to find his name on so many gifts. "How about tonight? Please?"
Brian exchanged helpless parent looks with Lindsay. The ones that accompany adorable offsprings' Christmas Eve pleas. "Maybe just one, Sonny Boy." He laughed and caught his son in his arms when the five-year-old sped toward him for a hug.
Emmett came in and replenished the silver cookie tray on the coffee table. "Your state-of-the-art kitchen is positively to die for, Brian! Makes us realize how badly we need to update our appliances, doesn't it, Darren?"
Handing Emmett the cosmo he'd personally mixed for him, Brian clapped him on the back. "Sit down and relax. I didn't mean for you guys to work the entire evening." He turned to Darren and asked what he wanted to drink. "Em says Shanda Leer is performing later?"
Ted got up and stoked the fire, adding two more logs before he returned to Blake's side on the love seat. "I wonder what the poor downtrodden souls of the earth are doing tonight," he joked, his friends counting their blessings while they snickered at his mock superiority.
"Not enjoying Christmas Eve in the lap of luxury here at Britin Manor, that's for sure!" Melanie giggled, a perfectly timed hiccup ending her oddly pro-Brian declaration. She plopped her cup of eggnog down on the end table and handed Jenny Rebecca off to her wife, slurring her words. "Here, Linds. You better take her."
Lindsay reached out for the baby. "Are you all right, Mel?"
"It's the eggnog!" Michael polished off his own cup and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "It's killer strong!"
Raucous laughter filling the house, Brian slipped away from his guests and made his way up the staircase. Ever thankful for his abundant good fortune, he vowed right then and there to amp up the charitable donations he routinely made to the Starving Artists Fund, a cause close to his heart. Brian pinched the bridge of his nose as he flashed back to the time he'd had a starving artist of his own.
But that was so long ago. How different his life was now.
Shivering at the top of the stairs, he wondered where that starving artist-turned-success-story could be hiding himself. And why in the name of God the second floor of their mansion was so fucking cold. Brian prowled around and finally found his husband of less than a year coiled into the fetal position on top of their bed.
"I'm NOT afraid!" Justin called out in a deep sleep, his body quivering and his teeth chattering as Brian stepped closer. "I don't want it. It means nothing."
Brian discovered an open window in the corner was to blame for the Arctic condition of their bedroom and went to close it while Justin continued his sleep-induced rant.
"How do you expect me to give you a rational response when the circumstances you've presented are completely suppositional, and, as such, have no basis in reality?"
"Justin, wake up." Brian walked back over to the bed. "Come on. You're gonna freeze your balls off in here."
"You don't want to live with someone who sacrificed his life and called it love to be with you? Neither do I."
Brian plopped onto the bed and leaned down to kiss Justin's icy cheek, spying an empty eggnog cup on the nightstand. "Jesus! How much of this shit did you drink?" He jostled his husband's shoulder back and forth. "Justin? Can you hear me?"
Justin groaned. Struggling to pry his eyes open, he squinted at Brian, barely making out what he was saying. "Brian, y-you're here."
"Yeah, I'm here. Where the hell else would I be?" Brian lay beside the thermally challenged mass of flesh and tangled their legs together. "Christ! You're practically frostbitten. How long have you been asleep?" He rubbed Justin's arms briskly, trying to thaw him out.
"Sleep?" Justin nestled into Brian's body. His primal instincts drawing him to the heat, a warmth he hadn't experienced in forever gradually worked itself through his limbs and helped ease the daze he'd been in. Soon feeling a glorious softness clinging to his upper body, Justin swiped the palm of his hand across his baby blue sweater, the most beautiful word in the English language tumbling out of his mouth. "Cashmere! I own cashmere!"
Brian laughed out loud. "You own a closetful of cashmere. What's the big deal?"
"And a down comforter!" Justin grasped the edge of the feathery cover and pulled it up to their necks. "I'll never be cold again!"
"You bought it right after we moved in here. Don't you remember?" Brian hugged Justin's body closer. "So what were you mumbling about in that semi-coma? What had no basis in reality?"
"Oh, my God, Brian! It was awful! I dreamed we had this horrible discussion the night before our rehearsal dinner. You convinced me the art world in New York was just waiting for me to arrive, and so I fucking moved there to conquer it! I hadn't seen you in so long." Justin winced at the memory. "I didn't know if I'd ever see you again."
Brian scrunched up one side of his face. "Now why the fuck would I want to do that? Your work was getting noticed here in Pittsburgh before we got married. You wouldn't have had to go to New York to paint." He nudged his husband around in his arms and kissed his lips. "The night before our rehearsal dinner was great. You told me about the dream you had the night before that . . . the one where we were in our new house and I was riding you in the stable, diving into you in the pool, and slamming you on the tennis court." Brian smiled. "When I joked, 'Wouldn't you rather just cuddle?' you said, 'Hell, no! I want you to fuck my brains out!' Remember?"
Justin smiled, too. "Actually, I said, 'Hell, no! I'm gonna blow you. Then I want you to fuck my brains out.' Remember?" He unbuckled Brian's belt and slid his jeans down to his knees before he shimmied under the comforter toward his dick, a memory jog surely in order.
Brian fondled the back of Justin's neck, shoving himself all the way into his talented mouth and down his throat while Justin sucked his cock with familiar expertise. Wedded bliss. So not a farce. "I love you, Sunshine," he whispered as Justin swallowed every last drop of cum he shot.
"Now that's what happened on the night before our rehearsal dinner!" Justin crawled back up to Brian's face. "And after our guests leave, you can reenact the part where you fucked my brains out."
"All night long." Brian kissed his husband again and pulled his jeans up before he and Justin rolled out of bed and put themselves together in front of their full-length mirror. "So how was New York?"
Justin shuddered as he combed his hair. "Amy was crazy. We lived in a nine story walk-up that was the coldest place on the face of the earth. And I couldn't paint for shit! No one would buy my terrible stuff, Brian. I was so poor I didn't even have enough money for Starbucks!"
Brian shook his head, glancing over at the empty cup beside the bed. "That stuff must be toxic! What else would make you dream such horse shit?" He took Justin's hand and headed out of their bedroom just as Shanda Leer broke into the first few notes of Brenda Lee's classic rendition of Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree. "We gotta get back down to our party, Sunshine. And throw out that fucking eggnog!"