|for seedyapartment - fic - Segue [Brian/Ethan]
||[Mar. 30th, 2005|10:06 pm]
Summary: Closure. Of sorts.
The envelope shows up in the mail one day. It’s a complete surprise, a sudden disruption in the natural flow of Brian Kinney’s life. He sits at his office chair for a few long moments, tracing the corners of the heavy paper, dangerously close to cutting the skin of his fingertips.
He finally sighs and tears it open, giving in to his itching curiosity. Addressed to Justin Taylor from Ethan Gold, he feels mildly guilty, but it was sent to his apartment. The envelope contains two complimentary tickets to an upcoming concert in town and a cream-colored, engraved invitation to the reception afterwards.
Brian doesn’t mention it to Justin when he calls from California, just puts the envelope in his briefcase. He’s mildly curious as to what Ethan’s thinking, wondering if it’s an attempt to win Justin back or a desire to rub their faces in his success.
He finds it again a few weeks later where it’s gotten stuck in a pile of tax forms. He holds it in front of his face, considering the possibilities, rolling the thought around in his mind.
The next day he digs out his tuxedo from the back of his closet.
It’s been a month since Justin moved to Los Angeles to work on the set of Rage: The Movie. He feels numb in Justin’s absence. He is able to resume his routine from before Justin stumbled into his life, but he’s not quite whole.
He’s faintly bitter about being left behind, though he knows it’s his own fault for encouraging Justin to take the opportunity. His anger is just a whisper, something abstract and without focus.
When his friends call the night of the concert asking if he’s going to meet them at Babylon or the Liberty Diner, he lies and says he has a lot of paperwork to finish. Ted gasps, “the apocalypse must be nigh if Brian Kinney is forsaking fucking for filing.”
Brian just hangs up the phone and gets dressed. The tux is the same one he wore to Justin’s prom, and he suppresses a brief pang at the thought, carefully pushes it to the back of his mind like he has the scarf wadded up in his bottom dresser drawer.
The theater is crowded, far from the tiny college concert where Justin and Ethan first met. Brian takes the program an usher holds out to him and lets another usher lead him to his seat.
Then, the lights dim and Brian is aware that the seat next to his is noticeably empty. He’s not sure why he’s decided to come, but as Ethan takes the stage it feels like some particularly strong strain of masochism.
He has to admit that the kid is talented. Ethan exudes confidence and charisma, almost glowing. The music is good, not the screeching, wailing racket Brian had expected.
But Brian has never had much patience for art. The entire concept is too abstract and ridiculous to him. He prefers straightforwardness—the bold simplicity of an advertisement. Justin’s paintings had always been beyond him, a barrier that he couldn’t cross. He thinks Justin and Ethan must have spent a great deal of time talking about truth and beauty and emotions.
He leans almost imperceptibly forward as Ethan reaches a crescendo. He can see the faint sheen of sweat on Ethan’s brow, dark curls sticking to his forehead. When Ethan plays a note that Brian can feel reverberating in his chest, he can almost see what attracted Justin to this narcissistic musician.
And he wonders, for the first time, what Ethan and Justin might have had together if their relationship hadn’t fallen apart.
He’s almost relieved when the concert is over, and he allows himself to be pushed along by the crush of bodies moving out though the aisles to the exits.
The reception is exactly the kind of stuffy, tight-laced function Brian normally tries to avoid. He scans the crowd in the ballroom, sipping at champagne so bitter it makes his mouth curl into a sneer. If Justin were here, Brian would be murmuring lewd things into his ear, breath hot against Justin’s cheek, building a fire until Justin grabbed his arm and demanded they find somewhere private.
“I didn’t think you’d come,” Ethan says, suddenly at Brian’s shoulder.
“I wouldn’t want to miss a performance by the most gifted classical musician of our generation,” Brian says flatly, quoting a review he remembers reading in one of Emmett’s fag-rags.
Ethan can’t seem to think of anything else to say, and they stare at each other in appraising silence. Brian had thought about fucking Ethan when Ethan and Justin were together, just because Justin and Ethan’s Great Romance of the 20th Century pissed him off that much. He hadn’t, though.
But he’s suddenly aware that he could sleep with Ethan, that Ethan’s head is tilting at just that angle and his eyes are dark and wet, and it would be so easy.
“Let’s go somewhere,” he hisses into Ethan’s ear, and Ethan barely flinches, but his eyes flicker nervously away from Brian’s gaze. He places a heavy hand on Ethan’s arm and leans in and gives him a short kiss, thinking of the rules Justin broke with this idealistic, foolish boy.
Ethan tenses and jerks away. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” He snaps. Brian smirks, pressing close again. It seems to right to do this. Natural. He’s closing the circle, mending the tear that was Ethan’s involvement in their lives.
“So how about it?” he says, and Ethan coughs awkwardly and nods.
Hand firm on the back of Ethan’s neck, Brian urges him insistently toward the door. He’s doing this out of spite, to get back at Justin for sleeping with this kid, for leaving him twice, now—once for false promises of romance and rings and now again for glamour and movie stars and fame.
Ethan has a room in an adjoining hotel. He tells Brian this as they exit the theater, words rushed and breathless, tripping over his tongue. Brian just smiles and says to lead the way.
He wonders briefly about Ethan being missed from his own reception, about what Justin would think of this, but he dismisses his worries. It’s been a long time since he’s felt so impulsive.
Stumbling into the hotel room, click of the latch as the door closes behind them, and as weird as it seems, Brian is out of practice at this sort of rushed pick-up. It should be as simple as slipping into a familiar routine, but his hands and mouth are almost awkward as he tries to push Ethan’s dress shirt off of his shoulders.
It’s almost like kissing himself, really, the both of them having perfected the art of kissing Justin.
All available surfaces are heaped with flower bouquets—congratulations on a successful show. The scent is cloying. The stems have been sitting out of water too long.
There is a stack of copies of Ethan’s latest album on the floor. His face stares up darkly from beneath the plastic wrap, thin lips pursed thoughtfully and eyes framed by too-long lashes.
Brian accidentally topples the pile as he attempts to press a leg between Ethan’s thighs. It throws Ethan’s balance off, and he falls back onto the mattress just as Brian hears a crack as one of the CD cases splinters beneath his weight.
“I’ll pay for that,” Brian says, and Ethan laughs sharply.
He moves smoothly onto the bed, hands pressing cruelly into Ethan’s shoulders to hold him down. “You’re wearing too many clothes,” Brian says roughly, and the words sound ridiculous to him, but Ethan’s breath hitches.
Clumsy in his excitement, Ethan’s hands are shaking so badly that he gets the zipper of his pants snagged on the cloth. He curses softly, trying to wriggle out of them, and Brian almost moans at the sight of sharp hipbones so like Justin’s.
Fingers caught and snarled in curly hair, their kisses a mess of teeth and tongue.
Roughly the same size as Justin and it’s so similar that Brian can almost fool himself into thinking he’s with someone else.
He’s searching for signs of Justin on Ethan’s body—signals of conquered territory because he knows the marks Justin leaves are indelible. It colors the way he kisses, the way he fucks.
And he’s wondering how Justin would have touched Ethan, and Ethan is pressing lube and a condom into his hand and turning onto his stomach and it’s all too sudden for Brian to process what’s happening.
And then his fingers are inside of Ethan and it’s so easy for Brian to lose himself in the rhythm of sex. He’s trying hard not to think of Justin—so sweet and willing and eager, but he’s fucking Justin’s ex and he has to bite back hysteric laughter at the thought.
One hand braced on the mattress and the other splayed across Ethan’s ribs, Brian sets a slow pace. They move easily against each other, with surprising, instinctive grace.
His breath comes harsh and panting, but Brian stays guiltily quiet otherwise. Ethan arches his head back and Brian bites at his exposed neck. Ethan shudders and jerks away and their eyes meet for a quick moment. Then, Ethan’s mouth quirks into a half-smile and he closes a hand around his erection and Brian is glad that this won’t last too long.
He doesn’t think there are any words in Ethan’s choked groan. And Brian curls, pressing his forehead between Ethan’s shoulder blades. He comes, realizing suddenly that this was a mistake.
When Ethan starts to shift beneath him, Brian pulls out and rolls over. Sticky with sweat and exhausted, he can’t quite bring himself to look at Ethan. He closes his eyes, trying to regain his composure, to gather his energy and plan his exit.
“You fuck like Justin,” Ethan says, his voice startling as it breaks the silence.
“Justin fucks like me,” Brian retorts, a subtle barb.
He feels sick and achy as he stands and gathers his clothes. Ethan watches Brian dress, expression inscrutable.
Brian pauses at the door, unsure of how to finalize the encounter. He feels vaguely certain that he won’t be seeing Ethan again, and he’s not sure how he feels about that.
“Tell Justin I said hello,” Ethan says, moving to sit on the edge of the bed.
“Yeah,” Brian says, accepting it as the only sort of closure he’s going to receive. “I will.”