Seasons Challenge # 5: And If I’d Ever Leave You … Title: And If I’d Ever Leave You … Written by:wren_kt7oz Timeline: Post S5 - about 2 years down the track; it takes place at Britin Author’s Notes: This is a kind of song fic, for which I humbly apologise. I don’t write them very often (in fact, the only others I’ve ever written were directly for a song fic challenge), but the theme of this challenge and the lyrics of this song just came together in my head and wouldn’t go away. It is also kind of sappy for which I don’t apologise at all. I figure the boys have earned a few happy moments.
And If I’d Ever Leave You ..
Brian’s trying to juggle shoving part A into slot fucking B and keeping them in place while at the same time somehow screwing bolt C through the shitty, too-small holes in both to keep them together. When the investment information program he’s been listening to finishes and some lame assed “easy listening hour” starts he’s in no position to get up and change the station.
He tries not to listen to the shit that’s pouring from his abused speakers and reminds himself that it’s for Gus. He’ll be arriving to spend a week or two with his old m … with his father and his whatever-the-fuck Justin is to him tomorrow; and Brian is determined that the damned train set and all its accoutrements will be assembled and ready to go. There’s no way that he plans on going through this torture and looking like a complete incompetent in front of his six - nearly seven, fuck it! - year old son.
He doesn’t know how the lyrics of one particular song manage to penetrate his willed deafness. They just do.
“Your hair streaked with sunlight, your lips red as flame …”
While his fingers triumphantly manage to tighten the miniscule bolt that holds the station building in place on the small platform, something in the words that drift unwanted into his ears brings to mind the image of Justin the day before, laughing as he’d evaded Brian’s attempts to snare his ankle and pull him into the pool. The shaggy fucking mop of hair that he flatly refuses to get styled into a decent cut had looked … beautiful. In the privacy of his own mind, Brian can use that word. The blond locks that Brian still loves to tangle his fingers in, especially when Justin is blowing him, had looked amazing; in fact his whole face had seemed to glow - truly like the Sunshine Brian still tends to call him. And it was true, his lips had seemed even redder and more desirable than usual. Brian grins, remembering how he’d climbed out of the pool and grappled his quarry down onto one of the sun lounges and then had teased and tantalized his lover till those lips had wrapped themselves round his cock. It was a blow job worth remembering, and Brian wishes that he could spare a hand to ease his cock into a more comfortable position in his suddenly tight jeans.
But by now he’s attempting to put together the various elements that make up the little farm that has to sit up on the hillside and the fucking barn isn’t fitting properly into position, so both hands are occupied.
Unlike his mind, which is somehow free to take in more of those sappy fucking lyrics.
“I’ve seen how you sparkle, when fall nips the air …”
Sparkle my ass, Brian thinks. All the little twat does when Fall comes around is bitch about how he hates Pittsburgh’s winters and why the fuck can’t we move to Hawaii, or at least Florida?
But really what Brian most remembers about Justin in the Fall are those first few months after they’d met. He remembers the not-so-good stuff like pushing Justin away on the night Justin had come to see him and spouting off his “I don’t believe in love” spiel, and the crushed look on Justin’s face. But after that it seems to him that he remembers a world of nights where they’d leave Babylon together and walk to the Jeep through the crisp cold of autumn, laughing and tugging at each other’s arms or hands or clothes - any excuse to touch, and then they’d wind up at the loft, and the laughter would merge into sighs and groans and the cold would be banished by a warmth that Brian had never known before and hadn’t known how to accept. Not then.
Now, that warmth is somehow at the kernel of his life, but then it had seemed so alien, a completely new experience, and one he’d found kind of threatening. But while he acknowledges the unease that threat had engendered, he finds that his main memory of that time is of that strange new sense of warmth, and the laughter that went with it.
He sighs as he finally gets the barn to sit in place, and resolves to banish any more fucking lesbionic bullshit, but the next lines he hears bring him right back to more of those memories.
“Or on a wintry evening when you catch the fire’s glow …”
As he assembles the flimsy fucking fences around the farm that would give it up to the first assault by a determined chicken, let alone a herd of fucking cows, Brian does his best to ignore that one. But the truth is that it really hits home because it reminds him of the afternoon he’d first brought Justin to this house. It had been freezing cold and the house and grounds had been covered in a blanket of snow that held everything in a deep hushed silence. The place had been mainly empty, with what little furniture there was shrouded in dust sheets. But he’d lit a fire and after spouting off a bigger load of romantic bullshit than he would ever have believed could come out of his mouth, Justin had finally agreed to marry him, and then they’d made lo … fucked on the floor in front of the fire, right below the room he’s now in that they’ve turned into Gus’ playroom.
He supposes that all that fucking romance shit had been wasted in the end, because they never had gotten married.
But that hardly seems to matter in the scheme of things. They’d survived a twelve month separation while Justin had been in New York, laying the foundations for his career. By the time he’d come back to Britin and to Brian, he’d not exactly taken the art world by storm, but a couple of galleries were happy to hang one or two of his paintings every few months and they were selling - for ever increasing figures at that - so he’d achieved what he’d needed to do, and had been more than ready to come home.
More significantly, Brian reflects, he himself had been more than ready to let him. He’d gained enough confidence both in Justin’s ability to have it all - his art and Brian - and in his own ability to sustain a relationship to allow himself to just go with the flow for once and enjoy, revel in if the truth be known, having little Sunshine home where he belonged.
That reunion had happened over a year ago, and things, Brian admits, to himself at least, are better than they’ve ever been. Astonishingly, he’s happy. Just … happy. And so, he reflects with a touch of wonder, is Justin. Brian has no doubt of that. It’s there in the laughter that echoes round the house, and in the brightness of Justin’s smile. For a long time - post-bashing, through the time with Ian, post Stockwell, during his battle with cancer, right through to the sad and frustrating days after a gutted Justin had returned from LA when they just couldn’t seem to get into the same fucking book, let alone onto the same page - that smile had been very rarely seen; now it’s a constant companion of Brian’s nights and days, and a sure sign to him that Justin truly is happy here with him. Fuck knows why, because he’s not really any easier to live with than he ever was - but then Justin has always had his measure, and seems still to revel in the challenge of dealing with his shit. Things, Brian reflects, really are fucking good; and the fucking itself is, as always, spectacular.
And it had all really started that evening in front of the fire downstairs, when they’d finally allowed themselves the freedom to truly express what they felt for each other Some of it they’d even put into words; but mainly it had just flowed between them, evident in touches and smiles, and manifested in the quiet sense of joy that had filled the air around them as they’d lain together with the flickering firelight reflecting warmly from skin and hair and eyes. It was the first time in his life that Brian had believed that he could do this, have this, share this. That he could be happy; and that he could make Justin happy too. He will never forget that moment.
“… in Spring I’m bewitched by you so …”
Just as he’s putting the final finishing touch to the lay-out, placing the animals in the fields around the farm, Brian manages to drop one of the cows and it vanishes under the edges of the green baize cloth that Justin has draped over the whole fucking table “because it carries the green of the grass out of the edge of the frame of the table and that gives the whole thing more substance and reality”, or some bullshit.
The ‘table’ mind you, being only around a foot off the ground - just enough height to make it comfortable to reach when sitting on the floor, but not the height of a normal table because “if you put it on a high table Gus won’t be able to reach any further than the fucking edge, Brian, unless he stands on his chair”. In his head, Brian mimics Justin’s pissy comments as they’d set the basics of the damned thing up.
He must be fucking bewitched to be here on his hands and knees scrabbling round blind under this fucking cloth to try to find some damned toy cow. He’s not sure now whose brilliant idea this was, but he suspects it somehow got planted by the little blond twat; the one who’s conspicuous by his absence while all the real work is being done. Justin had abandoned him on the flimsy excuse that he had to “stock the cupboards if Gus is coming, we don’t have anything he’ll want to eat”. Like they couldn’t get anything they needed delivered. He’d just wanted an excuse to head off to the market and buy a whole lot of shit that he knows Brian would never normally allow to darken his kitchen. Fucker!
But then Brian finds he’s remembering the first time Justin had stocked the kitchen at Britin. It had been just after Easter last year. They’d spent Easter Sunday at Deb’s, because the girls were in town with the kids - something to do with Mel wanting to celebrate Passover with her family, and Deb had, of course, wanted to have an Easter egg extravaganza for her grand-daughter. Between Mikey and Deb, JR had had so much chocolate shoved down her throat that she’d spent the first part of the day running around like a mini-maniac, then she’d crashed, and then for good measure she’d thrown up all over Mikey when he was trying to carry her up to have a nap. Brian still feels sorely disappointed that no one had managed to get a photo of Mel’s face as she’d done her best not to fucking explode and tell them all what she thought of their stupidity in feeding all that shit to a toddler. He’d come out of it all looking like the fucking responsible parent for once, as he’d managed to limit Gus’ intake to a couple of small eggs and had smuggled the rest into Lindsay’s bag to be doled out in reasonable amounts at some point in the future. Well, aside from a couple that he’d smuggled home to enjoy teasing Justin with, but that was another story.
Fortunately, thanks to Justin’s foresight and his own skill with a camera, they hadn’t missed out on the best photo op of the day - the looks on all their friends’ faces when he’d announced that if anyone was trying to call them at home in future they should use a new number, because they wouldn’t be living at the loft anymore, they were moving to a house a little further out of town. They’d kept the information that Justin was coming home to themselves while they worked out the details and went through the drama of packing up all the little twat’s shit to transport back to Pittsburgh, and the gaping jaws and bulging eyes when they’d finally dropped their bombshell were fucking hilarious.
The next day they’d headed off early to avoid questioning and, as only Jenn had their new address, they’d had a few days of peace and quiet to settle into their new home. It had been early Spring and amazingly those first few days had been cool but filled with sunlight. They’d seen the house for the first time without a blanket of snow around it, and had been kind of surprised to find that they actually had a garden. There had been what seemed to their city-dweller minds huge expanses of lawns, some trees that were coming into bud and others that were covered with sweet-smelling blossom, and around every corner there’d been garden beds in which some flowers, especially the bulbs - jonquils and daffodils and snowdrops and bluebells - were already blooming while others were beginning to thrust their first tiny green shoots up through the earth.
Justin had been entranced, and had spent a lot of time trying to capture the images in paints and crayons and any other medium he thought might work.
And somehow, sharing that time with him, Brian had managed to see the whole thing through Justin’s artist’s eyes. Seen with this new vision the whole place had sparkled with light and somehow colors - ordinary colors like green and blue and yellow and pink - all looked fresh and new, as if he’d never seen them before.
Brian remembers Justin arriving home from that first grocery shopping expedition, tumbling out of the car and demanding Brian’s assistance in getting everything into the house before it got dark because he wanted to spend some more time in the garden. The kitchen window had been open, and the scent from a flowering cherry tree near the house had met them as they’d staggered through the door with the bags full of all the shit that Justin had insisted that they needed.
Brian hadn't needed anything in the fucking bags - all he'd needed was the fucking moron who’d been throwing things every which way into the cupboards and the fridge so that he could get back to his painting. It had gotten on Brian’s last nerve, so finally he’d shoved the little twat back out into the late afternoon sunshine and had rearranged the cupboards and the fridge into some kind of logical order. He’d been honestly horrified at some of the shit that Justin had bought, but …
He’d stood for a while when he’d done looking out the window, watching Justin working on a water color of the cherry tree blossom and …
Maybe he had been bewitched by the little blond twink who’d forced himself into his life and fucking just refused to give up on him. All he’d known then, all he knew now, was that the fact that his cupboards were full of fucking cookies and potato chips and other stuff that he wouldn’t have bought in a month of fucking blue moons hadn’t mattered. In fact, in some warped way it had comforted something deep inside him and brought healing to a place that had been hurting for so long he hadn’t even known it until the pain had stopped.
He gives a rueful grin now, remembering feeling that way, knowing that he still feels that way. Perhaps he should do a check of Justin’s stuff and see if he’s got some kind of fairy-dust stashed away somewhere. But what would be the point?
The truth is that if he’s been somehow ensorcelled, then nowadays he’s a willing victim. He’d never fucking say so, but the truth is that he likes his life. He fucking loves it. He loves Justin. And he loves loving Justin; even more than he loves knowing that Justin truly does love him...
“No, never could I leave you…”
He hasn’t been through all the shit with Hobbs, and Ian and fucking Stockwell and cancer and New York and all the other crap they’ve lived through to walk away now. Seems like you really should be careful what you wish for, because little Sunshine has always said that he wanted them to have a future together and nowadays Brian’s ready to hold him to it. Justin’s stuck with him for good this time.
His groping fingers close around the damned cow and thankfully he pulls it out from its hiding place and puts it carefully into place. Finished. Finally. About fucking time.
He hears the car on the gravel of the drive under the window, and thinks that it’s typical that Sunshine manages to time getting home so conveniently. And no doubt he’ll want help as usual to cart the mountains of shit he’s certain to have bought into the house.
Brian isn’t in any way disturbed by the joy that thought brings him (a response which in itself would once would have rated around a 9 on Brian's personal Richter scale).
Naturally though, the fact that he finds some sort of happiness in the thought of Justin doing his little nesting routine in preparation for Gus’s visit isn’t going to stop him bitching for hours about the crap that Justin plans to feed his son, and demanding some form of compensation. He never did get the little twat into the pool yesterday. Of course, Justin might not be expecting to go swimming today either, but Brian’s sure that once he gets over his surprise and they’ve gotten rid of any pesky clothes that get wet in the process, he’ll come around; or he'll come, anyway.
Payback’s a bitch, but after all they both love to fuck in the water.
Hearing the expected call for help with the shopping, he finds himself wondering if the sun will have the same effect on Justin’s hair when it’s wet. Guess it won’t be long before he finds out.
As he reaches to finally turn off the fucking drivel on the radio, the song’s final words wash over him.
“Oh, no! not in spring-time! Summer, winter or fall! No, never could I leave you at all!”
Final Note: The song is, of course, “If Ever I Would Leave You” from Camelot by Alan J Lerner and Frederick Loewe. Full lyrics can be found here: If Ever I Would Leave You lyrics