Observations by Teri
Rated R for language
B/M/J-- Michael leaves Pittsburgh. This is Justin's
story. Sequle to Adaptaions and Confessions
Disclaimer- The characters featured here that appear
on QAF are the property of CowLip and Showtime. I own
none of them. This is for private entertainment and
is not making any profit.
Damn it! His plane was delayed. He briefly wondered
if maybe he should try to catch another flight.
Tonight was so important to him and he was going to be
late. Dialing a number on his cell phone, he tried to
reach Michael again but all he got was the machine.
Another quick look at his watch made his heart sink
even lower. Michael was going to kill him.
Staring out through the huge plate of glass, watching
the flickering lights on the runway, Justin's mind
drifted over some of the changes that had taken place
since he and Michael had hit the big time.
He had been all ready to make the move to New York.
Ethan had agreed to the relocation, explaining that it
would be just as easy to tour from there as it was
from Pittsburgh, but then Justin's mom got sick.
Justin had teased her to no end about the mono, but it
was soon clear that it was more serious than he
thought. She had been sick for almost a year, so sick
that she could only work for a couple hours a day.
The exhaustion seemed to hit her the hardest. She was
so distraught when he had told her of his decision to
remain in Pittsburgh; he was to go to New York and
follow his dream, not to worry about her. But worry
he did. He and Michael managed to devise a feasible
plan and since it worked, they had just continued that
way. Taking advantage of technology, they were able
to keep Rage alive even over the distance. Justin had
long ago reached the conclusion that New York wasn't
for him, and he wondered if Ethan wasn't secretly
relieved since he seemed all too happy to remain where
they were. While he enjoyed his trips to the Big
Apple, he was always happy to come home.
"Flight 710, service to JFK Intl. Now boarding,"
announced a pleasant voice over the loudspeaker.
Justin rose, gathering his carry-on. A check of his
watch told him he'd be a half hour late for the party
celebrating Rage's success.
The flight, thankfully uneventful, gave him more time
to reflect. His thoughts turned to his two best
friends and how they had survived the past year.
Michael had been doing so well in New York; everyone
was so proud of him. Only Justin knew of the pain he
hid concerning Brian. He had heard what Brian had
said to Michael at the airport, when they were saying
"Fine! Get on the fuckin' plane! Why the hell would
I want you to stay here? Good riddance! What a
relief not to have you following me around! Now I can
drop the charade! Nobody ever knew the disgust I felt
every time I had to touch you, the nausea that I had
to choke down any time we kissed. Get on the plane,
Mikey," Brian had sneered, "so I can have a normal
life!" Justin had seen the pain and despair in the
chocolate eyes as every word sliced like a dagger
through his heart.
But he knew of Michael's resolve to not let it stop
him. And somehow, everyone else picked up on that.
No one ever mentioned Brian when they were talking to
Justin had tried once, when he and Michael were
sharing a drink after their monthly meeting. Steering
the conversation to the people and home, Justin had
let it spill about some of Brian's achievements.
Michael's response of, "I don't give a fuck," spoke
volumes, but the pain in his eyes said even more. So
he kept quiet.
But he took great delight in telling Brian all about
Michael. Brian hadn't been quite the same after
Michael left. It was a gradual change; he didn't
notice it right away, partly because he was so busy
with school and the comic book and Ethan. Ted
mentioned something about Brian being off his game
once but Justin didn't give it much thought until
while Ethan was in LA for a few days, Brian had
invited Justin out.
They had met up at Babylon, danced to a few songs and
had a couple of beers. Justin watched as Brian's eyes
surveyed the room much as a ruler would his kingdom.
Obviously though, no one caught his attention. Justin
was surprised, to say the least, and said so.
"I've had everyone," Brian had replied in a bored
voice, "including you."
It wasn't anything Justin hadn't heard before but...
something...in the hazel eyes made Justin pause. "You
miss him, don't you?"
"Fuck off, Sunshine."
Justin took no offense to the derisive tone in Brian's
voice. After a few years of experience, he knew
Brian's self-defense tactics, so he smiled sweetly and
continued. "Michael's doing fabulous, you know. I
don't think New York will ever be the same. He's
certainly been a busy boy. You should see some of the
guys he's been with. Oh man, they are so immensely
fuckable." Justin laughed at the dirty look Brian
shot him. "Yeah, Michael's the darling of Marvel and
every hot, gay man in New York. You know, I've been
thinking, since Ethan's going to be away, I'll have a
lot of free time on my hands. Maybe I should plan an
extended trip to the city. Michael has a spare
bedroom. Of course," he added, "maybe we'll only need
He had laughed at Brian's reaction; the older man had
slammed his beer on the bar, snarled, "Fuck you," and
stormed out of the club.
For the next week, Justin kept close tabs on Brian.
To say that Brian had changed was an understatement.
He drank a lot more now, but the drug use had
dwindled. He still frequented Babylon but trips to
the backroom were fewer and far between. The most
telling alteration was the lack of tricks taken home.
Justin had not seen Brian drag a guy out to the jeep,
much less to the loft, he assumed; in the week he
spent observing. Questioning of Ted and Emmett
confirmed Justin's suspicions; Brian was slowing down.
Although Brian would never admit to missing Michael,
Justin knew. Hell, everyone knew. But Justin decided
to do something about it.
He had been making plans on how to get Brian and
Michael together when he almost blew it. He was at
Woody's, waiting for Ethan to join him. His plan had
been to make Brian jealous of Michael and it was
working up until now. The booze was flowing freely
and he imbibed way too much. He knew better, knew
that liquor made him say things he normally wouldn't.
Before he knew it, he was telling Brian about how sad
Michael was. How much Michael missed him. Yeah,
Michael was a huge success, but Justin could see that
deep down inside he was miserable without Brian.
So, he had to fix the damage he had done. A few days
before the trip to New York for the party, they were
all having breakfast at the diner. Ted and Emmett
were planning a trip away, Brian was being his usual
cranky morning self, and Justin was consulting his
calendar, noting Ethan's next series of concert dates.
Excusing himself from the table, he rounded a corner,
keeping an eye on the table he had just left. He
could tell Brian had said something harsh to Emmett;
Ted was scowling.
He waited, lurking like some criminal, to see if Brian
would take the bait, and he did. He watched as Brian
had slid the day planner over, scanning its contents.
He couldn't help but wonder what Brian would do with
any information he gleaned from it.
"We are starting our final approach. Please fasten
your seatbelts and return your trays and chair backs
to their upright position." The flight attendant's
voice broke into Justin's thoughts. Another glance at
his watch told him he would still be only a half hour
late. Hopefully Michael would consider it
A death-defying cab ride later and he was walking into
the party. No sooner had he gotten through the door
and he was snagged by a group of illustrators. All of
them congratulated him on the wonderful artwork in
Rage. He tried to escape so he could let Michael know
he was here, but ended up deep in a conversation about
the planned series he and Michael were going to do
tying Alexander the Great to Rage. The idea had
obviously been making its way through the office.
Then something, some movement, caught his eye. He
looked up right into Brian's eyes, and sent him a
small smile. Well, that answered the question of what
Brian was going to do. A quick glance showed no
Michael though. A comment from one of the X-Men
artists caught his attention and drew him back into
The next time he looked up, Brian was standing in
front of Michael, but the smaller man wouldn't look at
him. Justin kept his eyes on Michael, mentally
willing him to accept Brian's actions as the apology
he knew they were. Michael looked up, fixing on
Justin as if asking for advice. Justin nodded. 'It's
okay, Michael, go.'
He watched them exit to a balcony. As much as he knew
that he should leave them alone, he couldn't help
working his way around the room to be near the French
doors. Straining, he did hear the tail end of their
Apparently Brian had confessed his love. Justin heard
Michael's voice ask, "Do you have any idea how long I
have waited to hear you say those exact words?"
Justin held his breath, waiting to see what Brian
would say. Would Brian make some cutting, sarcastic
remark, pushing Michael away after bringing him close?
"As long as it took for me to learn to say them,"
Justin heard him say.
Everyone around Justin wondered about the blinding
smile that flashed on the handsome face. But no one
knew that it was because his two favorite people had
finally found their way to each other.