Britin ([info]_alicesprings) wrote on May 24th, 2008 at 11:38 am
Worth It
Title: Worth It
Timeline: Post-507 AU. The bombing at Babylon never happened.
Rating: G
Author's Notes: Written for the Challenge in Two Parts at [info]qaf_challenges. A HUGE thank you to my beta [info]xie_xie_xie! I've been trying to write a reunion fic where Brian goes after Justin without the bombing as the impetus for a LONG time, and Xie helped me find a way to do that that I felt was IC for Brian. The gorgeous graphic by [info]testdog65 inspired me to finally finish this fic.
I've cross-posted to LJ, sorry for the spamming!



It's been three months since I got back from Mardi Gras in Sydney, and Justin moved to New York.

He's doing well. I know because Debbie updates me constantly. I don't ask her to but she seems completely unable to accept that it's over between us. Like she really thought we were going be together forever. News alert: he not only packed up his little bag and left me, he left the fucking state.

So as she fills my coffee cup she fills me in on the latest tidbits of news. He's found an apartment. He's found studio space. He's working part time at a diner.

“He's a got a spot in a show,” Debbie says one day, as she set down my fries.

I merely raise an eyebrow.

“Our own little Picasso, that one. You talked to him lately?”


“You should. You're still fucking friends aren't you? You should congratulate him on the show.”

“Check, please.”

She scowls at me and tears off the check.


Some unexpected business comes up in New York.

I stare at the phone for a full ten minutes before I pick it up and dial.


The cab pulls up outside a seedy looking building, hell, they all look seedy in this neighborhood. Justin is sitting on the curb but he jumps up when I step out of the car.

His hair is long again, and my fingers itch to touch it. I shove my hands in my pockets.


“Hey yourself.”

“I'm really glad you came! Thanks for calling me.”

“Well, I had business here, so...” I shrug.

“Come on up, I'll show you my pieces for the show.”

Justin leads me to a large, open space that I know he shares with five other artists.

“This place is a dump,” I remark, glancing around the crowded room.

Justin shrugs. “It's affordable. And at least it's big enough to hold my canvases. My apartment's way too small.”

He leads me over to the far side of the room, where a huge canvas is leaning against the wall.

Like all his paintings, it's complex and interesting and just fucking beautiful.

“What do you think?” he asks after a minute.

I glance at him. “Wow.”

“Really?” He's pleased.

“Modesty doesn't become you, Justin. You know it's amazing. Exquisite, even.” He smiles at me and I swallow down the regret I feel clawing its way up my throat.

He shows me some smaller pieces and they're all just as amazing. I'm proud of him. But I don't say it.


I offer to take him somewhere fancy for dinner, but he insists he wants to treat me. He takes us to a tiny hole-in-the wall, claiming it has the best Mexican he's ever eaten.

The décor is modest but the food is delicious. While we eat I fill him in on all things Pittsburgh. Gus – growing like a weed, Kinnetik – making money hand over fist, accompanied by a lascivious hand gesture to make him roll his eyes and laugh, Mel and Lindsay – on-again after their latest round of off-again.

“So,” I say, after the dishes have been cleared. “You're doing well here.”

Justin nods. “Yeah, pretty well. I've been really lucky, some people work here for years and don't get a spot in a show. I mean, it's not a solo show or anything, but it's a good start. Lindsay really paved the way for me.”

I nod.

“I wake up in the morning and the first thing I think of is what piece to work on today. I'm inspired, you know?”

I nod again and think about the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning. It's sitting right in front of me.

The waiter reappears and Justin orders dessert. I decline, but I notice how attentive he's being toward Justin. He's been like that all night.

“I think the waiter likes you,” I say after he leaves, admiring the stretch of his pants across his ass.

Justin follows my eye. “Hugo? Yeah, he's been trying to get back in my pants for months now.”

“You've had him?”

“I told you, the best Mexican I've ever eaten,” he says with a smirk.

I have to laugh. “And you don't want back in his pants?”

His face scrunches up. “Nah. Repeats get too complicated.”


He stands with me outside the restaurant waiting for my cab to arrive.

“Thanks for dinner.”

“Of course. It was really good to see you again.”

The cab arrives and I open the door.

“Good luck with your show, not that you need it.”

He smiles, “Thanks Brian. Have a safe flight,” he says, and leans in to kiss my cheek.

I catch a whiff of his familiar shampoo but he pulls back and the scent is gone almost immediately.


I spend the whole cab ride thinking about what he said in the restaurant. Repeats get too complicated, what the fuck?

The whole reason he left me was for some faux-hetero suburban fantasy. He wanted the white picket fence and the husband and the 2 point 5 kids. But instead, he's fucking around. He's working in a diner. He's living in a crappy apartment in New York fucking City. He's being Justin. My Justin.

But he's not mine anymore and that pisses me off.

“Turn around,” I tell the driver.


I bang on his door, mentally thanking Debbie for slipping his address under my toast three months ago.

“Brian? Shouldn't you be at the airport?”

“Shouldn't you be surfing husband material dot com?”

“What the fuck are you talking about?”

“What the fuck are you talking about!” I shout. He takes a step back.

I take a deep breath. “What the fuck are you doing Justin? Why aren't you out dating, looking for a faithful hubby? Isn't that why you left?”

He scrubs a hand over his face and sighs.

“Sit down,” he tells me.

I sit on his second, possibly third, fourth or fifth-hand sofa, and he drops down next to me.

He's silent for a moment, pulling at a loose thread on his pants. Finally, he meets my eyes.

“Being here, and focusing on my art - and myself - I've remembered how important freedom is to me. Freedom of expression, as a person and an artist. I learned that from you.”

He puts a hand on my arm. “I'd forgotten what was really important to me. I don't want a husband and a baby, Brian.” He shakes his head. “Not anytime soon anyway, and maybe not ever. But I do want a partner who can at least talk to me about those things. And you weren't budging an inch. You didn't give me a choice. I couldn't stay there the way things were.”

I shrug but there's nothing to say. When he's right, he's right.

We sit in silence for a few minutes.

“I've really missed you, ” I tell him, because he deserves to hear it. And because it's true.

“I've missed you, too,” he says, and closes the distance between us.

Desire courses though me, stronger than I've felt in months, like a hot wave rising from my groin and my chest. His lips meet mine, just as hungry, and I finally get to sink my fingers into his silky hair. I can't help the groan that escapes my mouth. Justin pulls back from the kiss.

“Wait. I have more to say.”

I groan, nip at his lips. “Kiss now, talk later.”

“No, wait, let's resolve this.”

“Resolve what?” I mumble from where my lips are nuzzling behind his ear.


I pull back. “Is there still an us?”

“Do you want there to be?”

I stare at him, his cheeks are flushed, his hair is all mussed up and I know I'd give just about anything to have him back.

I nod. “Yes.”

He clutches my hands. “Me too. And I don't want you to change completely, Brian. I mean it. You wouldn't be the person I fell in love with if you did. I just want you to keep an open mind. To talk to me about the important stuff.”

I bite my lip and look into those earnest blue eyes.

I think of Brandon lying naked on my bed, offering himself up to me, and I remember thinking I hadn't wanted to fuck anyone less in my entire life.

Then I think of Justin lying naked in my bed. His pale, soft skin. I've fucked him a thousand times and it's never gotten old. Just his smell, his flirty blink, can make me hard in seconds.

I have to admit, even if only to myself, that I'm getting older, and the thrill of trawling for fresh meat three times a week is wearing off. Justin's always been the best part of my day anyway.

“We're not who we were five years ago Justin. I've already changed. So have you. I'm willing to keep an open mind. And I'm still not sure about the husband thing, but I could probably be persuaded on the house.”

A hue smile breaks out on his face. “Really?”

I shrug. “I have always wanted a home gym, and you should have studio space. You deserve studio space.”

He grins.

“But I'm in Pittsburgh and you're here.”

“I won't be here forever, Brian. I don't even want to be here that long, truthfully.”

“You're at the center of the art world. You want to leave?”

His nose wrinkles in that way I'd never admit to finding completely adorable.

“It's not really the center of the art world. I mean, yes there are amazing museums and galleries here and some great artists – this guy I share the studio space with does these incredible ink drawings, you should see them. But I'd never planned to stay here forever. This place is fucking crazy expensive. And besides, my family's in Pittsburgh. My heart's in Pittsburgh.” He puts his hand against my chest.

“And I don't want to limit my options. I want to have shows on the West coast too, and Chicago. All over the country. Overseas, too. I know I don't have to be based in New York to be a success in the art world.”

“So, what happens now?”

“Now... now you fuck the shit out of me. And then I'll fuck the shit out of you. Tomorrow, you'll fly home, but you'll come back and visit me again soon. And I'll come there, too. We can make this work. New York is really not that far from Pittsburgh. And when I'm ready, I'll come home. For good.”

I lean my forehead against his. “I can't wait,” I say, rubbing our noses together.

“Me either,” he whispers.


“What?” he smiles, stroking the nape of my neck. He's so fucking beautiful.

“I love you.”

His eyes widen and then he's pressing his lips to mine again and again. It was worth it, I think.
( Read comments )
Post a comment in response:
( )Anonymous- this user has disabled anonymous posting.
( )OpenID
Don't have an account? Create one now.
No HTML allowed in subject
Notice! This user has turned on the option that logs your IP address when posting.