Gusmas 2011: The Tipping Point
Title: Tipping Point Author: Xie Prompt(s): Each of the seven images, in order. Notes A 7-drabble series for each of the images, per not_yet_defined's challenge!
Justin pulled his knit cap lower as the snow started falling onto the dead leaves covering the path through the park. "It's a beautiful place to raise kids."
Lindsay jammed her hands into her pockets. "A cold place to raise kids."
He laughed. "Brian calls it the Great Frozen North. In between bitching about Thanksgiving being in the wrong month."
She smiled softly. "I know. He's got Gus calling it that now. I had to remind Gus it snows in Pittsburgh, too."
"Well," Justin said, as the snow coated the road and clung to the branches, "Not usually this early."
Lindsay came out of the kitchen just as Justin was finishing a phone call. "Was that Brian?"
He nodded. "His flight's boarding. He should be here by around 12."
Only Justin was still up when Brian pulled into the driveway, the headlights of his rented car reflecting off the snow onto the windows.
Justin stood on the porch watching Brian get out of the car, grabbing a small bag from the passenger seat before coming up onto the porch.
Brian's mouth was teasingly gentle when he kissed him, and Justin put his hands in his hair to pull him tighter.
Brian wanted a cigarette after they fucked, and didn't feel like dealing with Lindsay's fury if he smoked under the same roof as her children. "It's like a fucking bed and breakfast in here," he said as he pulled on his coat to go outside, accidentally knocking a stack of perfectly folded towels to the floor. "Were there mints on the pillow?"
Justin didn't even open his eyes or roll over, just burrowed deeper into the pillow and pulled the comforter over his head.
Brian laughed, decided he didn't really need that cigarette after all, and got back into bed.
Justin barely got his eyes open in the morning before Gus flew in like a cannonball and landed on Brian's back. "DADDY!"
Brian groaned. Justin got up.
"Happy Thanksgiving," Melanie said when he stumbled into the kitchen.
He took the coffee she handed him. "Thank you. From the bottom of my heart."
They sat down. "So," she said after he'd had a few sips, "did you tell him?"
Justin shook his head. "I figured Lindsay or Gus should tell him."
"Tell me what?" It was Brian, Gus in his arms.
Gus smiled. "We're moving home to PITTSBURGH!" he said.
Brian almost dropped him, and sat down heavily in a chair. "What did you say, sonny boy?"
"We're moving home," he repeated, then added, "Grandma Debbie got us a house."
"I see," Brian said, slowly. "When is this happening?"
He laughed. "Christmas! I sent Santa our new address, so that he'll know where to bring our presents."
Brian snorted. "So, you knew, and Mama knew, and Justin knew – something he'll be hearing about later – and even Santa knew. But no one told me?"
Gus looked confused. "I just told you."
Mel and Justin buried their laughter in their coffee cups.
Brian glared. "I think Justin and I need some fresh air."
They walked into the park, past the faux-Alpine ski hut where the gardening equipment was stored.
Justin glanced at Brian. "Gus wanted to tell you himself." He frowned. "I thought you'd be happy."
Brian frowned. "I would be, but… I had a surprise for you, too." He took a deep breath. "I bought a place in New York. I was planning on moving there in a few months."
Justin stared. "You.. you bought a place in New York?" He laughed. "This is like the fucking Gift of the Magi."
Brian looked away. "I was going to tell you on New Year's Eve, while the glitter rained down and you were appropriately sentimental and, hopefully, high on E." He looked back at Justin. "Not here in the Arctic Circle, celebrating fake Thanksgiving in a foreign land."
Justin shook his head. "Now what?"
Brian pressed his forehead against Justin's. "I guess Gus is going to have to get used to the idea that his father will still be commuting."
Justin looked at him, hard. "Are you sure?"
Brian's lips folded in for a second. "I'm sure." And then he kissed him.