YOU CAN SLEEP WHILE I DRIVE Title: You Can Sleep While I Drive Written By:teatotaller Timeline: Late Season One Theme: In Cars Author's Notes: Heartfelt gratitude goes to my beta. Her constructive criticism was exactly what I needed. Nods to Melissa Etheridge for my title.
Brian's changed out of his sodden clothes and is rubbing a towel over his hair while staring into the refrigerator. He's losing hope of making something edible and appetizing magically appear among the poppers, beer and avocados when the phone rings.
It's Debbie asking if he would, please, pick up Vic at the airport. Brian hadn't planned on going anywhere else once he finally dries off. He looks towards the window and sees that the downpour still hasn't let up.
But that's exactly why Debbie's asking it of him. No one wants Vic taking the bus or waiting outside for a taxi. Not in this weather.
Brian puts down the towel. No need to worry about his hair when he's just going to get wet again. He closes the fridge and settles on an apple. He slices bite-sized chunks while Deb continues to rearrange his evening.
“Stop by the house and take Sunshine with you,” Deb orders. “All he ever does these days is fucking study, study, study. I'm telling you, it's not healthy!”
Brian rolls his eyes. He's heard Deb bitch and moan about this a lot lately.
Deb isn't finished quite yet. “He needs a break. Hell, I need a break from watching him! I swear to God I never saw you or Michael do anywhere near this amount of homework.”
Really, there isn't anything Brian can say to that.
When Brian pulls up in front of Debbie's house, Justin's waiting on the porch. He yells something over his shoulder as he sprints down the sidewalk to the Jeep and hops into the passenger seat, shaking his head and sending water droplets everywhere. Grinning, Justin leans over and kisses Brian soundly. “Hey.”
It's a thirty minute ride to the airport. Justin starts out asking all his usual annoying questions and moves on to telling stories about the diner. But as the minutes pass, he gets quieter and quieter and, when Brian looks over, he catches Justin trying to hide a yawn.
The wipers going back and forth seem to have a mesmerizing effect on Justin, and after Brian asks him to put some music on, the lulls in the conversation grow.
Brian can tell Justin is making an effort to seem as if he's not falling asleep. But the music, rain, and his own hectic schedule pull at him. And the next time Brian glances over, Justin's turned partway towards him with his head on the headrest. Asleep.
Justin is so young, it scares Brian. Fuck! What the hell was he doing? When he's awake, Justin is raw energy and pure sex. Asleep he just looks young — really young.
This is the kind of thing Brian tries not to think about too much. Much easier to focus on the wet roads and think about what he needs to have prepared for work in the next few days. If he glances at Justin now and then it's simply to see if he's still asleep.
Justin wakes up when Brian pulls into short-term parking at the airport. He rubs his eyes and yawns. “I didn't mean to fall asleep on you.”
Brian shrugs. “No big deal.”
The pick-up at the airport goes smoothly. Justin has all the flight information and Vic is pleasantly surprised to see them when he gets to the baggage pick-up area. They get Vic's bag loaded and Justin climbs into the back so that Vic can sit in front.
The ride home begins with Vic chatting about his time in New York. He tells them outrageous stories about a drag queen cabaret and mentions a film his friend took him to that was never going to play in Pittsburgh. There's a quiet lull and Brian realizes that Justin's fallen asleep again.
Brian adjusts the mirror so that he can see Justin curled up on the back seat.
Vic catches the movement and asks, “He fall asleep?”
Brian nods, “Debbie says he's been studying too much.”
“He's been pushing himself really hard.” Vic looks thoughtful. “He told me that if he'd pulled in these kinds of grades starting when he was a freshman that he'd have had a shot at being valedictorian.”
Brian's eyes flick to the mirror. “He's overcompensating.”
Vic is quiet for a moment. “Yeah. But you can't really blame him. He's driven.”
Brian gives a little grunt of agreement.
Vic smiles. “He's tenacious. It's one of his finer attributes — along with his great ass of course.”
That too, Brian thinks.
Justin is still asleep when they get back. He doesn't even wake up when Brian pulls the Jeep up to the house and unloads Vic's bag.
“Take him back to the loft.” Vic murmurs softly. “Make sure he gets some sleep.”
Brian doesn't want to examine why he doesn't offer any type of argument. He just nods and climbs back into the Jeep. He watches Vic carry his bag into the house and sees the front porch light go off in his rearview mirror as he pulls away.
He watches Justin sleep for a long moment. Then he turns his eyes back to the wet road illuminated by his headlights as he swings the Jeep around towards home.