Pairing: Brian and Justin
Timeline: The first February after 513
A/N: Written for the Evil Kinney Girls Valentine's Day project
You can pick yourself up from the floor now and close your gaping jaw. Yes, I've written you a letter. And enclosed it within a Valentine's Day card. And attached a picture of me to the front. Well, hey, stranger things have happened. Emmett once tried to go straight, didn't he?
I guess I'd just like you to know that I've made some decisions.
While coercing you to make your mark on the art world in the Big Apple was admittedly ill-timed on my part, I still feel that it was a necessary move for your career and I know it won't be long before you're kicking ass and taking names. But now that you've been gone for a couple of weeks, I see where I've made my mistake. Allowing our last night together to be overshadowed by ambiguity wasn't one of my finer moments. It's only time is about as lame as Don't Ask, Don't Tell, as far as all-time fucked up slogans go.
Deciding I've outgrown my 'no apologies, no regrets' philosophy of life, I regret telling you that it doesn't matter when or if we ever see each other again and I apologize for sending you out into the world with the uncertainty of what would happen to us hanging over our heads like a dark cloud. Thinking only of you and how I wanted you to be free to grow, to experience, to create, I believed I was doing the right thing. I didn't want you to feel tied to me and to Pittsburgh. What I failed to consider, however, was what a change of that magnitude would do to not only you, but to me, as well.
I don't mind telling you that I miss a lot of things I never thought I would. The place just doesn't seem right without all your crap spread out everywhere, without the mess in the kitchen every night after you make dinner, and without your warm sleeping form lying in bed every morning - dead to the world when I leave for the office. I mean, there's no one to hog the duvet now.
Asking you to marry me wasn't a fluky, ill thought-out idea resulting from Babylon's bombing, Justin. I never would have asked you if I hadn't wanted you to be my husband with everything I am and ever will be. That's why I've decided to keep the wedding rings we selected and the house in the country I bought you. I still want to marry you and I can only hope that you haven't changed your mind about wanting to marry me. Why should we be apart?
After weeks of weighing possible scenarios, I've decided to open a branch of Kinnetik in New York. You know, just to keep me busy while you're taking the art world by storm. We can live there for as long as you need to. Ted and Cynthia can start earning the ridiculously handsome salaries I've been paying them by running Kinnetik here in Pittsburgh.
When you're established enough that it doesn't matter where you paint, we can come back. I've always thought that any one of the enormous rooms in our country manor would make a beautiful studio for you. I'm sure I can find a qualified suit to run the New York branch of Kinnetik if Ted doesn't want it.
So, once again, I ask you: Justin Taylor, will you marry me?
Scanning the letter he'd written to Justin one last time, Brian neatly folded it and slipped it into the envelope with the card. He felt happily satisfied, now that his thoughts had been captured in written form, in his personal handwriting, no less.
Slowly opening the drawer in his computer desk, he laid it carefully among the bills waiting to be paid. At least he'd be sure to run across it every first of the month, he thought, gently sliding the drawer closed. Yeah, he nodded, it would be safe and sound right there until the time came to show it to Justin. Even if the opportunity never presented itself, Brian was still pleased with himself for getting his innermost feelings on paper.
"Maybe someday," he sighed, a light knock on the loft door shaking him out of his reverie. "Promptness," he said aloud to no one in particular, sliding the door open. "I like that quality in a trick."
Justin stared at his cell phone, silently debating whether or not he should call Brian. They hadn't spoken since their last night together in Brian's bed, weeks earlier, because he hadn't wanted him to know how miserable he'd been in New York. Moving hundreds of miles away from his friends and family in an attempt to make a name for himself in the art world might have been slightly workable if only his creative juices hadn't dried up the instant he set foot in the unfamiliar city. But now, still stymied and achingly homesick, he wondered what the harm would be in hearing Brian's voice.
"Hey! You finally called!" Brian practically shouted into his phone when he'd seen Justin's number displayed on his screen. "Making millions yet?"
"Brian," Justin laughed, a breath of relief at the warm reception escaping his lips. "I needed to hear your voice. It's been so long."
"Yeah, too long." Brian clanked his door closed after showing his visitor out.
"Who was that?" Justin asked, quickly picking up on the activities in the loft. "A hot trick? Did you suck him? Did you fuck him? How was he? Tell me!"
Brian lit a cigarette. "Inferior," he exhaled slowly.
"Aww, poor Brian," Justin teased, "can't get a decent piece of ass, now that his Sunshine's gone away!"
"Truer words were never spoken. How are you doing, Justin? Do you need anything?"
Taking another drag from his cigarette, Brian easily detected the shift in Justin's voice. "You've got me. What's the problem?"
"I can't paint, Brian. This has never happened to me before. Every time I pick up a brush, the result is something a fucking two-year-old would produce. I'm blocked."
Wincing at his phone, Brian looked wistfully out of the picture window in the loft. Maybe their brilliant little scheme hadn't been the most well thought out in the history of schemes. "What's it going to take to turn this dry spell around?" he asked pragmatically.
"You." Justin pulled a beer from his fridge and took a long swig.
"You keep saying that."
Hesitating for a few seconds longer, Justin let it rip. "Brian, I miss you so much. Nothing is right, over here. I wake up, trudge through the city to my studio, try all day to create something I can be proud of, but it doesn't happen. For weeks now, nothing happens." Kicking his shoes off, he plopped on top of his bed, tired of the whole stupid experiment. "I can't paint, being so far away from you."
"If we changed that one little detail," Brian grinned broadly, "do you think it would help?" He'd have Cynthia make his travel arrangements in the morning.
"Really?" Justin perked up. "You'd come for a visit? That would be so perfect! I could probably morph into god-damned Picasso after a weekend of you fucking me into oblivion!"
"One can only dream." Walking over to his computer desk, Brian removed the red envelope from its hiding place in the drawer. Scrawling Justin's New York address on the front of it, he made another decision on the spot. "Justin?" he asked, reaching into the back of the drawer for a stamp.
"Don't forget to check your snail mail every day."