Summary: Emmett's on the rebound, but he's not alone. Assumes canon through s3, with the exception of Justin's return to Brian. Temmett is 314ish, Brian and everyone else is 404ish.
The first time was about hanging on. Hanging on by a thin thread of sanity, laced thickly with grief for a lost love, and a lost life. Emmett was tugged to the dance floor by Brian, who told him to save himself. Some flicker of genuine feeling crossed Brian’s face and Emmett knew he was right. Besides, when Justin left Brian, there was a point when Brian had had to make that same decision. To save himself. Emmett had never told him, but he was really proud of how Brian had handled that pain and moved on, allowing Justin to remain a part of their family and even a friend of Brian’s.
So, Emmett danced. Brian waited patiently for the frenzy driving Em wildly around the dance floor to wane, his moves designed more for survival than recreation. He stood by Em’s side, helping him down off the ledge and onto the dance floor. And when Brian noticed Ted passing by with Dr. Crystal, he took action. He grabbed Em by the hand, leaned in close and whispered, “Come with me.” Em really didn’t see any reason not to.
That first night was also about discovery. Like Em’s first-hand discovery of Brian's voracious sexual appetite, revealed first in the elevator on the slow ride up to the top floor. Emmett knew that once they got inside they would fuck, but he did not want to think about the consequences of fucking. Lucky for him, Brian distracted him by the third floor when he came down Emmett’s throat before they even made it through the threshold of the loft. No thinking required.
Emmett woke up dazed in Brian’s bed, wondering how the fuck he’d ever let himself get to the point of ending up there. He spotted Brian, sleeping peacefully next to him and a strange twitch flickered through his ribcage. What the hell had he been thinking? Well, actually, who the hell cares? It was an amazing fuck.
Remembering the events of the night before, Em was slightly irritated to realize he was feeling less hostile about Brian’s ego, since he now had first hand knowledge of the facts behind the bravado. The wall of disdain Em so carefully built when he first met Brian was crumbling and behind it was a gorgeous, sexy man. A man he respected for teaming up with an ex lover to defeat that homophobic bigot, Stockwell. A man who was successful and sometimes charming and really wasn’t the same hard, unfeeling asshole Emmett had met so many years ago.
Em closed his eyes and sighed, wondering if the tenderness he’d felt the night before was installed and left behind by Justin or if he’d just never noticed before that Brian actually can be sorta…sweet. He opened his eyes and scrubbed his face, brushing away sleep and memory flashes of Brian’s fingers intertwined with his own, pressed into the mattress. It was rebound sex. That’s all it was. He brought his fingers to his lips and pressed them there tightly. Really fucking amazing rebound sex. He closed his eyes again and winced. With a friend. A really annoying, ego-maniacal, sometimes friend, who still has a one fuck only policy. Oh shit. His eyes opened and ran of their own accord over Brian’s sleeping body and it was just a coincidence that his cock was getting hard at the same time. He wasn’t getting hard just watching Brian sleep. Oh fuck.
Obviously not panicking, not panicking at all, Em gently pushed back the sheet and stretched over the side of the bed reaching for his clothes on the floor. Brian’s eyes popped open.
“Leaving already?” Brian pushed the blankets down revealing his hard dick. Emmett licked his lips subconsciously and sighed.
“I guess I thought you’d want it that way.” He said, with more sting then he’d planned. But he shifted slightly in the bed so he was turned towards Brian, more receptive to the sudden presence of Brian’s hands on his chest, his stomach…his cock.
“Whatever gave you that idea?” Brian’s mouth descended on Em’s cock before he could answer. Sunday was a lovely day for a wake-up blowjob really. Just because it was Brian sucking him off didn’t mean he should GET UP AND RUN THE FUCK AWAY!!!
Em bit his lip as he leaned back into the pillows, his eyes locked on Brian’s. There was definitely something unguarded in those hazel eyes right now...the way they never looked away, even when Brian began swallowing repeatedly around Emmett's cock and his hands pulled Emmett's hips up, forcing his cock to thrust deeply down Brian's throat.
Em moaned and closed his eyes. Brian pulled him up again by the hips, harder this time and hummed.
By the time Em had showered, Brian was dressed and making coffee. Emmett realized he had never seen Brian in his natural habitat, much less producing consumables, and the sight was disconcerting. Actually it was down right surreal. Somehow, being fucked and sucked by Brian this morning seemed less strange than seeing him making coffee in his own kitchen. Em paused in the bedroom doorway staring, a towel coiled on his head and another wrapped around his waist. Brian looked up, noticed Em staring and raised an eyebrow.
“You can borrow something of mine. One more advantage of our similar height.” He smirked and then continued. “Tee shirts are in the second drawer down.” He poured his coffee and flipped the page of the newspaper he was browsing. Em turned toward the dresser and pulled out a white tee shirt.
“If I had known I was going to a slumber party, I would have packed my little overnight bag.” He pulled the shirt over his de-toweled head and slid on a pair of Brian’s jeans. He waited for a snarky return volley, and instead Brian just smiled and shook his head without looking up from the paper.
“I’ll drive you back. I’m going to take Gus to the diner for lunch today, anyway.” He folded the paper and prowled around the counter, heading for the bedroom. “But we need to leave soon. I’m supposed to be there to get him in 20 minutes.” His voice was quiet and Em had trouble hearing him over the Twilight Zone theme music ringing in his ears.
“Wait. What? You’re taking me back to Mel and Lindsay’s? Well, don’t you think it might look a little weird if you and I show up together after I didn’t come home last night? I’m wearing your clothes!”
“Who gives a shit what it looks like?” Brian shrugged. “We fucked. It’s not gonna be some big fucking secret.”
Emmett’s hands flew to his hips in protest. “Not a secre—ok. So, when we tell Michael and he hates us both, you’ll be just fine with that?” Em never had a problem standing up to Brian before and he wasn’t starting now.
“And you propose not saying anything to him now, so Debbie can find out accidentally from you later and he can feel twice as betrayed when he hears it from her and not me? Why didn’t I think of that?” Brian rubbed his chin mockingly.
“Gay. Etiquette. And are you suggesting that I can’t keep a secret?”
“Your mouth is, surprisingly, the loosest hole you have. It was the only loose hole I could find actually...” Brian smirked, pulling on his shoes.
Emmett turned, gathered his clothes from the floor and walked out of the loft without another word. Brian followed ten minutes later. Em was leaning on the 'vette when he got there, waiting.
“So, we just tell him we fucked and it was a one-time thing, right?” Em asked, squinting in the sunlight and opening the passenger side door. Now he remembered why he'd always considered Brian an asshole...
Brian nodded and slid into the driver’s seat. “One fuck per customer. No exchanges, no returns.”
Michael’s reaction to the news of their fuck was a two week, drama-filled stand off with Em fretting his brains out until Brian finally told Michael that he’d pouted enough for ten drama queens and he should just fucking get over it already. Michael called him pathetic, but a few days later he seemed to get over it and they were all back on speaking terms by the following Saturday night at Babylon. Emmett suspected Ben had something to do with it.
A few weeks later, Em fell apart over Ted’s downward spiral and then became an even bigger wreck when Ted finally checked himself into rehab. But somehow things fell back to normal between him and Brian. The usual petty snipes and friendly gossiping, and Brian even threw him a couple clients for his party planning business. Michael was caught in the middle when he tried to be supportive of Ted and once again it was Brian who pulled Em out of his pity party and told him to get over it or face losing Michael as a friend.
So, it was surprising that, just when Em was getting comfy-cozy and returning to his previous assessment that Brian was mostly just an asshole who was occasionally his friend (and gave fabulous blow jobs), Brian showed up at his new apartment, drunk.
Em heard the slurred shouting before the knock.
Brian was leaning on the door frame and rolling his head from side to side. He was uncharacteristically out of control and Em was immediately concerned when he slipped forward, grabbing Em's shoulder for dear life. Em struggled to close the door with Brian leaning heavily on him for support.
“Jesus! Did you drive over here?” He asked as he helped Brian over to the couch. “And, how many times do I have to tell you not to call me ‘Honeycutt’?” he was trying to be nonchalant about the fact that Brian was passing out drunk on his sofa and fucked up worse than he had seen him since those horrible first few weeks after Justin got bashed. "Do you want me to call Michael?" He offered, wringing his hands slightly.
“Fuck no I don’t want you to call Michael.” Brian’s arm dangled over the edge of the sofa, and his eyes were closed. Ok, no Michael. So…it couldn’t be that bad then. Em sat down on the coffee table next to his abandoned plate of Oreos and a full glass of milk.
“Um, do you mind if I ask you something?” Em drummed his fingers on his thigh restlessly. Brian gestured vaguely with his hand in Em’s direction. “What are you doing here?” Brian opened one eye and attempted to focus it on Em. He gave up and closed it again.
“I was in the neighborhood?” He said lamely and a small, humorless smile spread across his lips, his eyes still closed.
“Um, wow. Ok then. Well, you look like you need some water. I’ll get you some.” Em stood, brushing past Brian’s shins as he made his way out from between the sofa and coffee table. He found a bottle of water in his fridge and pulled it out, wondering what the hell had happened to make Brian lose control and show up on his doorstep like this. He shut the fridge and sighed, making his way back over to the living room. Brian had managed to sit up on the couch by the time Em plopped down in the sofa beside him, and he was holding his head in his hands.
“Milk and Oreos?” Em asked, holding out the bottle of water to Brian.
“Already ate.” Brian mumbled, feeling his shirt pockets clumsily. “Christ, I fucking hate French food.”
“Oh, I adore it! Teddy took me to Voltaire once. It was divine.” Em chattered, pulling the plate forward and dunking a cookie into his milk, trying to lighten the heavy mood in the apartment. Brian laughed, the bitter sound filling the air and thickening the dread in Em’s stomach.
“You would.” Brian took a sip from the bottle of water. “I need a fucking cigarette.”
Em stared at Brian. “I don’t smoke.” He said absently. What is it about this man? Why had it always seemed so much simpler when one could believe that Brian refused to give a shit, even if Em never fully believed that Brian didn’t give a shit when it came to Justin or his friends. It was quite confusing really. Had anyone ever seen beyond the façade and lived to tell about it?
“I need a cigarette, you don’t have to have one.” Brian said tersely, feeling his pockets for a lighter. He found it, finally and lit the cigarette dangling from his lip. Em waved the smoke away, and dunked another cookie into his milk. Brian leaned back into the sofa lazily, propping his feet on the coffee table.
“So why did you eat there?” Em asked after a couple of minutes of silence. “I mean, if you hate it so much. It’s a pretty expensive dinner to hate.”
Brian took a deep drag from his cigarette. “Luckily, it was a business expense. I took a new client to dinner. Turns out, the bitch has a thing for ‘romantic’ French restaurants…”
Em laughed out loud, choking down a bit of Oreo in the process. “Romantic? Oh Lord! You actually took a woman to a romantic French restaurant?” He let out another bark of laughter, turning toward Brian incredulously.
“I took a client to dinner. It was not a date. It was business. And Cynthia came along.“ Brian said, his words still slurred. Em just sighed inwardly and wondered when getting wasted like this was business. Well, it may be Kinney business regularly, but not usually the way Kinnetik did things, from what he could tell.
Brian stubbed out his cigarette in a potted plant on the coffee table and lit another. Em managed to pointedly ignore Brian’s plant abuse. Michael had brought the pathetic thing as a house warming gift and if Brian’s cigarette butts didn’t kill it, Em’s black thumb would. At least now he could blame it on…well no. Who’d believe him anyway if he told them Brian showed up on his doorstep drunk one night and killed his plant? It was just too random to be real, and he still had no idea what Brian was even doing there.
Em finished the last of his cookies and milk as Brian stubbed out his second cigarette in the plant and settled back into the sofa. Neither of them said a word, but the silence grew somehow comfortable. Finally Em stretched, getting up to go rinse his plate and glass and dig around in the linen closet until he found a chenille blanket for Brian. Brian was already asleep by the time he came back with the blanket, so he threw it over him on the couch and went to bed. Brian was gone when he woke up the next morning, but the cigarette butts remained in Droopette’s pot.
Em looked up from his breakfast plate and noticed Justin floating by, filling coffee cups along the bar with a grin that was obviously not coffee related. He’s far too young to appreciate coffee that much. Em couldn’t help but smile too, it was contagious.
“Somebody’s in a good mood.” Em replied, stuffing another bite of eggs into his mouth. Justin blushed and nodded happily.
“We had a great time last night.” Justin said, smiling to himself, lost in the memory.
“That’s great sweetie. Did you go clubbing?” He asked before taking another bite. Justin laughed and shook his head.
“No. Yesterday was our sixth month anniversary. We went out to celebrate and had a really wonderful dinner, and then Ethan surprised me with tickets to the Art Walk next week. It was amazing.” Justin blushed furiously. “And the food was really good. Have you ever been to Voltaire?”
“Oh, yes! Teddy took me there once. It was divine.” Huh, déjà vous. Em arched a brow, things getting clearer by the second. “A little on the expensive side though, isn’t it sweetie?”
“Oh, well, Voltaire is one of the local restaurants I got gift certificates for when I worked over at Vanguard. I was saving them for a special occasion. Oh! It was weird though, somebody sent us a bottle of really expensive champagne! It was unbelievable!” Justin gushed, wiping the counter absently. Em suddenly felt the headlights of realization freeze him to his seat. Voltaire. French food. Christ, I fucking hate French food! Yeah, things were definitely making sense now.
“Somebody who? A friend from school?” Em pressed. He already knew the answer though he suspected Justin didn’t.
“I don’t know actually. There was no note. I asked the waiter, but he didn’t know!” Justin shrugged. “Just some hopeless romantic I guess. Or maybe the waiter messed up!” Justin shrugged. “Whatever, we drank it anyway!”
“Sunshine! Your order’s up!” Deb called to him. He nodded and smiled again at Em. Em smiled back and pulled out a few bills, leaving them on the counter.
“See you at Deb’s for dinner tonight?” Justin asked as he juggled plates of food.
“Absolutely, I wouldn’t miss it.” Em smiled and Deb winked at him from behind the counter as he turned to leave.
Em ducked out of the diner and crossed the street, trying hard to mind his own business. Brian and bottles of champagne weren’t it. The Shuckter’s wedding was.
“Mind if I bum a cigarette?” Em closed the door to the house quietly, dampening the voices of their friends still finishing the last of the dinner dishes in Debbie’s kitchen.
“I thought you didn’t smoke.” Brian said as he handed him a cigarette and lit it for him. Em took a small drag and choked, sputtering smoke and gasping. Brian broke out laughing and shook his head as Em took gulps of air and held the cigarette away disdainfully. It burned down slowly for awhile, as they stood in silence. It was burned down halfway before Em spoke up.
“Why did you take me home that night?”
“Why not? You wanted a fuck, so did I, we’re both tall…” Brian stared off into the distance.
“I think you were trying, in your own way, to help me get over Ted.”
Brian said nothing and blew smoke rings into the night air instead.
“You’re an enigma Brian Kinney. I never knew you, I mean, really knew you, until that night. Isn’t that funny? I guess I never really tried to know you before that.” He chanced a nervous sideways glance, unsure how much of this conversation Brian would tolerate before telling him to fuck off. Brian continued blowing smoke rings, seemingly disinterested, so Em plunged on. ”And, you know you deserve that too, right Brian? Even if nobody else believes that, especially you?” Em gestured toward the back door to Debbie’s house.
That got his attention. Brian rolled his eyes and sighed, bringing the cigarette to his lips again. “Deserve what?” He said, his tone completely mocking.
“To be happy. So, if you want my advice, and I’m sure you don’t,” Em paused, taking a deep breath before continuing, “but you may just like it this time since it’s actually your own advice. The same advice you gave me that night on the dance floor. Save yourself. Go to New York, open a new branch of Kinnetik. Let go of the Pitts and find a way to be happy. Because you deserve it.” Em stubbed out the cigarette he hadn’t smoked and turned to go back inside. Brian’s hand stopped him. His eyes locked to Em’s for just a moment, completely unguarded, and Em’s breath hitched in his throat. Fucking gorgeous.
And then just as suddenly as it had fallen, the wall sprang back up and Brian released Em’s arm and turned, grinding out his cigarette under his shoe. Em thought that was the closest he’d ever really get to a thank you from Brian. And that was ok. That was part of being Brian’s friend—accepting a silent thank you that held more sincerity and meaning than a thousand spoken ones.
Brian threw his arm over Em’s shoulder and snickered. “Honeycutt, You are so pathetic.” Em sighed and pushed Brian’s arm off his shoulder playfully as he opened the door.
“Don’t call me Honeycutt.”