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for sogay & paraka - placeholder: fic + manip - Express Ticket [Brian/Vic, Michael/Justin] [Apr. 1st, 2005|09:41 pm]
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For sogay and paraka
The Inspiration, and what it inspired -

Untitled: a Masterpiece

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Express Ticket

Pairing: Michael/Justin, Brian/Mysterious Other
Summary: An identity crisis and the fallout. Two express tickets to Guatemala, one express ticket to Special Hell. Began life as a drabble, then mutated.


"We're very happy together, Mikey," said Brian, earnestly.

"I-" said Michael.

"Suddenly I see the light," Brian continued, eyes dreamy. "Love is a fragrant rose, you know? It's a black Armani suit. It's the umbrella which shelters you. It's a monument shaped of stone; your final resting place. Love - it lasts beyond death, Mikey, and now, finally, I understand."

"You-" said Michael.

"You're happy for us, aren't you?" Brian whispered. "It's really important for me that we have your blessing. You've always been so important to me, Mikey, and this new-old love has given me the courage to say it to your face."

"But-" said Michael.

"I'd ask you to be the best man at the wedding, but I already promised the glory of that role to Justin," said Brian, voice sincere. "However, I'd be delighted, absolutely delighted, if you'd do me the honour of being my bridesmaid."

"Gurble-" said Michael.

Brian beamed. "Fabulous! And now that we've got that settled, I must begone to my love."

"Asdjhesfikl," said Michael, watching Brian sashay away.

***

It took a while for coherent thought to make its way to the dimension Michael had apparently been flung into. While waiting for it, he decided to reflect on the surprising nature of this development. Why, only three hours ago he had been crunching his way through a bowl of cocoa puffs, completely unaware that soon, he would no longer be a part of the world he had been born into. Dude.

Luckily, a lifetime of reading comic books had taught Michael that when dimension rips of this sort occured, they were always unexpected. So really, he had been as well-prepared for this event as it was possible to be. He ev

///coherent thought struck, hard and fast, devastating like a gavel, like a cobra, like both together with some other phallic symbol thrown in for (bad) luck///

Flashes of that conversation whirled through his mind like drunk elephants on a merry-go-round. Words, phrases, syllables ripped at his soul, his sanity. Noooo! screamed his psyche, clawing at the inside of his head with bloodied metaphorical fingers. Noooooooo!

Slowly, the storm came to an end, leaving Michael to regard the state of his mind with some dismay. Words from the ... conversation ... lay scattered everywhere, like pieces of a shipwreck. A few leapt out at him - love - death - wedding - glory - justin -

Justin!

An ally!

Michael bolted down the steps of his apartment, snatched up his bicycle, and rode for the location he suspected Justin most likely to be - his friend Daphne's apartment - like the hounds of hell themselves were after him.

Only it was not hell that Michael was fleeing from. It was not hell that he feared. It was something much, much worse.

***

"Come in," said Justin flatly. He turned away as Michael shut the door behind him, moving further into the gloom of the apartment, towards a table littered with half-empty bottles of alcohol.

Michael followed, regarding him cautiously. He had often noticed that when under extreme duress, both Brian and Justin had the habit of quoting from (and usually, behaving like characters in) Shakespearean plays. He wondered if this scene was taken from one, and if so, which it-

"Romeo and Juliet," said Justin, as if reading Michael's mind. "When Rosaline rejected Romeo on account of his being extremely gay for Mercutio-"

"What? I don't remember that," Michael protested.

"Or maybe it was Mercutio who was extremely gay for Romeo, with Rosaline as his fag-hag. It's been a while since I read it, I'm a bit blurry on the details."

"I still don't remember-"

"My point is, Romeo shut himself up alone in his room in the dark. Painted his fingernails black, dressed in torn leather, listened to rock music, the whole works. Then he got bored and started crying. Quite admirably, he managed to keep it - the crying, that is - up for days."

"Look, Ben's a Literature Professor, I-"

"As I've already been through my pink - I mean, uh, punk - phase, I decided to skip that. And I didn't much feel like crying. So I went straight for the 'drink self into second coma' phase." Justin reached out and fumbled around the table, producing an untouched bottle of vodka, which he handed to Michael.

Michael took it and regarded it blankly.

"It's alcohol. You drink it and hope the trauma goes away," Justin explained patiently.

"I - I'm really sort of afraid to ask, but, well - does it?"

Justin flopped dramatically onto the nearest couch. "Honestly?"

"Well, I guess so. Yeah." Michael sat down next to Justin, looking at him seriously.

"If we're being honest, then - afraid not."

"Thought so." Michael sighed, closing his eyes and letting himself lean into Justin's warmth. He cuddled the bottle of vodka close to him, revelling in the scanty comfort it provided.

"If you're not going to drink that, can I have it?"

***

"The sad thing," Michael enunciated, waving a tumbler in the air for emphasis, "is that this is the most normal life has been since I - you know. Found out."

"What's so abnormal about discussing the mating habits of giant mutant guinea-pigs with hot pink fur and radioactive blue eyes?" Justin enquired, looking curious.

Michael glared. "Just how much have you had to drink, anyway?"

"Not sure," said Justin vaguely. He tilted his chin in the general direction of the table. "Just those bottles there. I think."

"That explains a lot," Michael muttered. Sobering, he propped himself up with a hand on Justin's thigh. "When did you - you know. Find out?"

"Early this morning," Justin sighed. "He wants me to be the best man at the wedding."

"He wants me to be the bridesmaid."

"Yeah?" Justin furrowed his brows in concentration. "Ooh. I can just see you, in a frilly pink dress and high heels, carrying flowers and- ow! Stop it! Ow!"

Michael stopped. "The normal reaction to being tickled is to laugh," he informed Justin.

Justin looked at Michael, his expression a scarily adorable cross between sulky and pouty. "Who ever said I was normal?"

***

"So. What happened when you found out, anyway?"

"It's unclear," said Michael, shuddering. "But I think I was thrown into an alternate dimension for a while - possibly I'm still in it. It was a sort of shock finding myself there, of course, but I had aplomb. I reacted in a most-"

"Ben still buying you those word-of-the-day calendars?" Justin asked, sounding amused.

Michael mumbled something incomprehensible under his breath.

"What was that?"

"I said, he likes it when I use words like that in bed, okay!" Michael snapped, glaring.

Justin's eyes widened, and he burst out laughing.

"Stop laughing!" Michael glared some more. "And if you tell anybody what I just said, I'll - I'll-"

"String me up in a slaughterhouse for Razorback to find," Justin supplied helpfully.

"Yeah. That."

***

"So. What happened when you, you know. Found out?"

"I decided to treat it as if it were a nightmare, stole Brian's credit card, and made my way to the nearest liquor store."

Michael frowned disapprovingly. "That's a federal offence, you know."

Justin snorted. "Please. I figure he owes me at least ten liquor stores for what he's putting me through with this."

"Hm. Well. Okay then." Michael paused. "Was there a sort of thunderstorm in your mind?"

"Nope."

"There was in mine. Well, no thunder. But a storm."

"Huh."

"I think there were some elephants, too. On merry-go-rounds. Well, one merry-go-round."

"Your mind is an absolutely fascinating place, Michael."

"It's actually sorta messy still. I haven't had time to tidy up."

"I see. More vodka?"

"Please."

***

"I feel sick," Michael groaned, slumping against Justin.

"You have absolutely zero tolerance for alcohol," said Justin unfeelingly, then made up for it by patting Michael's shoulder in a most comforting way.

"It's not the alcohol. It's Brian, and what he did - what he's doing."

Justin sighed heavily. "If I weren't busy repressing it all, I would sympathise."

"I don't like this alternate dimension," said Michael, and promptly started crying on Justin's shoulder.

"It's not an-" Justin started, then sighed and looked down at Michael. "God, why did I ever think it would be a good idea to get you drunk. You always get so fucking maudlin."

"Shu'up or I'll blow my nose on your sleeve." Michael sniffled.

"Don't you dare," Justin threatened, scowling.

Michael wibbled.

Justin looked down at Michael again, huffed indignantly, and slung an arm around his shoulders.

"Life hard," Michael commented, snuggling closer to Justin and tucking his head into Justin's neck.

"Tell me about it."

***

"It's like - my whole world has shattered, you know?"

"Mm."

"I just don't know how to deal with this!"

"Mm-hm."

"I mean, how can this be real? How can this be happening? I don't get it. I just don't."

"Mm-hm."

"God. God, I think I'm going crazy."

"Mm."

"And Ma! What'll Ma say? Oh my God, what'll Ma say?"

"... Fuck."

***

"Is this what it feels like to hyperventilate?!"

"Michael, calm down! We need to think about this, you know, rationally."

Michael spluttered, outraged. "Rationally?"

Justin tugged on Michael's hand, pulling him back onto the couch. "Yes, rationally. The other way leads to madness and - I don't know, bestiality."

"Oh God, bestiality," Michael moaned. "Oh God, I mean, what he's doing now, there's a name for it and all, isn't there, oh God. Just like bestiality, only with an "m". Or "n". Or something, it doesn't matter, just fuck I can't believe this, how could he do this? To me? To you? To Ma? To V-"

"Michael, shut up."

"Make me," Michael challenged, clenching his fists in defiance.

Justin scrubbed his hands through his hair, looking completely and utterly annoyed. "Christ. Fine, I will."

He leaned over, grasped Michael's face firmly, and kissed him.

***

"Oh," said Michael, looking somewhat dazed.

Justin cleared his throat and tried to smooth his hair down. "I guess."

There was a minute or two of rather awkward silence.

"You know what?"

"What?" asked Justin, warily.

"For a full forty-five seconds, I completely forgot about - you know."

Justin shrugged. "Yeah, well, they're not lying when they say sex is the best form of pain management there is."

There was another minute or two of silence.

"Let's try it once more."

"What?"

"You heard me."

Justin stared at Michael incredulously.

Michael turned rather pink, but stared back defiantly.

"Better than alcohol, I suppose," Justin muttered, and kissed him again.

***

"Wh-"

A pause.

"Christ. Jesus. Fuck."

"Wouldn't that be redundant?"

Michael yelped and jumped away in fright, falling right off the couch and landing with a thump on the floor. Justin shifted above him, peered down at his startled expression, and burst out laughing for the second time that day.

"How long have you been awake?" Michael asked crossly, rubbing at the section of his head which had just made personal acquaintance with the floor.

"A while." Justin sighed. "Stop freaking out, okay?"

"Freaking out?" Michael squeaked. "We just made love on your best friend's couch and I'm married with kids for Christ's sake! What could possibly make you think I'm freaking out?"

Justin rolled his eyes and sat up. "I wonder," he said. "Good as you are at this, perhaps I'd better tell you, before you freak out any further and lose the use of your ears, that you don't exactly appear to have your facts straight."

"What are you talking about?"

"We didn't make love on my best friend's couch, Michael. We made out on it. And that for the entirety of two minutes, before you passed out from the tiny amount of alcohol you consumed."

"Hey!" said Michael indignantly. "Tiny amount? I drank a whole half-bottle of vodka!"

Justin smirked. "You are such a lightweight."

Michael lay on the floor, sulking, for a minute. "I can't believe you let me think we fucked when I woke up," he muttered.

Justin regarded him innocently. "It's not my fault you chose to interpret my statement in that particular way," he said, eyes wide and sincere.

Michael looked at him suspiciously.

Justin snickered. "And besides, it was far too good a chance to waste."

***

"I still don't know how to deal with the - you know - Brian thing," said Michael, eventually.

Justin rolled over on the couch. "I can see that," he replied.

"You can - what do you mean, you can see that?"

"You're still lying on the floor," Justin explained. "The stress has obviously overpowered your mind to such an extent that you can no longer find it in yourself to make your way to the couch, though it's only one foot away and more comfortable, besides."

Michael glared and sat up. "I just didn't feel like it, okay?"

Justin nodded. "Lethargy. Isn't that one of the symptoms of depression?"

"Justin," Michael whined. "Come on. We really need to be serious, here."

"Okay," said Justin. "You're right. So we will now go sit down at the kitchen table like sensible adults and talk this entire matter over. Agreed?"

"Uh," said Michael. "Can't I just - attempt to repress it like you've been doing? I mean, it seems to be a pretty successful way of dealing with things."

"For a little while, yeah," Justin agreed. "Then it all starts trying to burst out at the worst possible moments, so you're constantly on the verge of a panic attack, and find yourself sneaking around behind people's backs trying to drown your massive issues in chocolate and violin music."

"Oh," said Michael.

"But if you're lucky, there'll also be a very cute grey-and-white cat around to keep you company."

"I'm allergic to cat fur."

Justin shrugged. "In that case, I would advise you to steer clear of repressing things."

Michael winced. "Do we have to talk about it, though? I don't want to bring it all out into the open. It's scary enough when tucked away in my mind. In fact, just the idea of talking about it is giving me nervous goosebumps. See?" He dangled his arm in front of Justin's nose.

"There's peach yoghurt in the fridge."

Michael raised an eyebrow at Justin. Or at least, made a fair attempt at doing so.

"Peach yoghurt," said Justin, "makes everything better."

***

"What I don't understand is why Brian's doing this. It's just so out of the blue, you know? It doesn't make sense."

"The way I see it," said Justin, "or at least, the way I'm trying to see it, the fact of the matter is that Brian is going through a mid-life crisis."

Michael choked on his peach yoghurt.

Justin raised an eyebrow at Michael. "Got a better explanation?"

"Uh," said Michael, thinking hard. "The onset of temporary insanity?"

"Maybe a combination of both," Justin decided. "Aided by a really bad batch of drugs, perhaps."

Michael nodded. "Yeah, that sounds about right."

There was a long pause. Justin used his spoon to poke viciously at his yoghurt, while Michael used his to create a pleasing whirlpool effect in his bowl.

"So now that we've figured out what caused it, what do we do about it?" Michael asked finally.

"Run away," Justin deadpanned.

"Run awa-"

"Do you want to be the one who explains the situation to Deb?"

"I - no," said Michael, looking horrified.

"Thought as much. Well then, do you want to be the one who tells Deb why she had to find out about it from someone else?"

"Gurble," said Michael, shrinking back in his chair.

"And finally, do you want to be within fifty miles of Deb when she finally does discover what's going on?"

Michael dropped his head to the table. "My life is over," he wailed, disconsolate.

"You're getting yoghurt in your hair."

***

"Okay, so I'm decided."

Justin continued dabbing at Michael's hair with a paper napkin. "Yeah?"

"We do need to run away."

Justin blinked, crumpled up the napkin, and tossed it onto the table. "You're serious."

"Well, I'm certainly not suicidal."

"I don't think Deb'd actually kill you," Justin said. He stopped to consider this. "At least, I'm pretty sure she'd very much regret it later."

"Yeah. Much later. And even if Ma leaves me alive, there's no guarantee that continued exposure to Brian in this state will do the same."

"I see your point," said Justin thoughtfully. "I honestly don't think I can stay around him for much longer and still stay sane."

"Ergo, we need to go. Run. As fast and far as we can."

"Did you really just say 'ergo'?"

"Justin."

"What about Ben and Hunter?"

"They'd understand. I know they would. I mean, this wouldn't be forever or anything, and I'm sure they'd want me to stay alive and in one piece. They know Ma, and once they find out about - you know - Brian - they'd get that the two of us need to be as far away as possible."

"Uh," said Justin, still looking uncertain.

"C'mon," coaxed Michael. "It'll be fun, you know it will."

"We could use our proceeds from Rage for funding," said Justin, beginning to smile.

"Yeah!" Michael got up and performed a little dance of joy around the kitchen.

"So. Whither shall we away to?"

"Guatemala," said Michael, thoughtfully.

"Guatemala."

"Yeah. I've always sort of wanted to go there. The blankets, you know?"

Justin snickered and shook his head. "Guatemala it is."

"Land of the blanket-wearing nubile native boys," said Michael dreamily.

"Sometimes you scare me, Michael."

"Last one to the airport's a used condom!"

~ the end ~
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: sogay
2005-04-01 09:25 pm (UTC)
OMFG. I'm in love.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: eleveninches
2005-04-02 06:36 am (UTC)
Why do I love this?

AND COULD IT BE MCPOFIF? Or however you spell it.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mcpofife
2005-04-02 07:10 pm (UTC)
YES, YOU BRILLIANT DEVIL. YOU GUESSED IT! HIZZAH! luckycharm_13, who co-wrote it and was the real brains behind the operation, linked me to your discovery. Kudos, friend!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: eleveninches
2005-04-03 06:57 am (UTC)
B-)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: paraka
2005-04-04 04:45 am (UTC)
Gah I'm so sorry I haven't read it yet... It looks great, and I promise I'll read it soon, but I'm up to my ears in QaF prop sale stuff at the moment....
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: paddies
2005-05-10 07:43 pm (UTC)
OMG. OMG. OMG.

This is hilarious. :D

And you are most brilliant genius ever. Seriously.

*bursts with love*

♥ ♥ ♥

(Reply) (Thread)