BRIAN'S BOYFRIEND OR WHATEVER OF 13 YEARS Title: Brian's Boyfriend or Whatever of 13 Years (A.K.A. Justin Taylor) Written By:juneprota Timeline: Post-Series Theme: Justin Author's Notes: Justin turns 30 and takes an objective view of his life and the characters in it.
The night before his 30th birthday, Justin gets fucked up on tequila and ecstasy. He has sex with a 17-year-old in the backroom of some club that isn't Babylon and can't help but feel an odd sense of deja-vu.
When he wakes up from his alcohol-induced coma, the bedroom is flooded with sunlight, Brian is nowhere to be found, and his head hurts like a motherfucker.
It's close to noon when he finally walks into the diner and he's at the diner because he lacks any type of common sense. Instead of nursing his hangover in a nice subdued place like Starbucks, he's at the loudest, brightest, shiniest place in Pittsburgh.
He notices Brian and Emmett in the usual booth and chooses to ignore them in favor of coffee. He goes up to the bar, orders from a waitress that isn't Debbie, and puts a couple of dollars on the bar to cover the coffee as he waits. The 17-year-old from last night must see that as his opportunity to pounce. Justin had noticed the kid too when he entered the diner, but he was pretending last night never happened.
"Hey, Justin. I had a great ti--"
"Honey, here's your coffee." Justin picks up his coffee and walks over to the usual booth. It's not until he sits next to Brian that he realizes the 17-year-old has followed him. Emmett's pulling the kid down to sit next to him and asking for details like name, age, top or bottom.
Over the last 13 years, Justin has gotten pretty good at tuning out Emmett's voice. He puts the skill to good use and sips his coffee.
Unfortunately, Justin has no such skills when it comes to Brian. In fact, he has superhuman hearing when it comes to Brian's voice, so he doesn't miss the the joke Brian throws out about "Sunshine's" sexual prowess. Justin appreciates the compliment, but really? His boyfriend or whatever of 13 years is seriously making jokes with the 17-year-old Justin fucked last night. In what world is that normal?
Justin's first full sentence as a 30-year-old is, "Shouldn't you, like, care or something?" It's a stupid sentence, because #1. it makes him sound like a valley girl and #2. Justin already knows what the response will be.
"Why would I do that?" A lift of the eyebrows, a tongue in the cheek. And Justin really wants to tell Brian that at 42-years-old that expression looks kind of stupid. But he keeps his mouth shut and finishes his coffee,
Ted's office space is very much like Ted. The walls are beige and boring. The furniture is brown, boring, and traditional. Justin finds the place claustrophobic. When he gets there, Michael is already sitting across from Ted and it looks like they're engaging in some facsimile of flirting. Michael's leaning in to better hear Ted tell a joke that Justin guarantees isn't funny.
It's ridiculous. Ted's close to 50-years-old and trying to settle down with the best friend that didn't want him when he was 30, and Michael will likely allow it to happen. Because, Ben's been 3 years gone and the years are catching up with Michael, with everyone. At this point they're all looking for the closest warm body to spend the rest of their remaining years with.
Justin sits down in the chair next to Michael, putting an end to the odd mating ritual. These meetings are kind of a joke. Justin keeps detailed records of the contracts he's signed and the distribution deals they've made. He knows how much money he should be making. He doesn't need Ted telling him what he already knows. So he does what he usually does during these meetings, he zones out as Ted goes over Rage profits. Justin trusts that Ted is taking care of everything that needs to be taken care of, which is crazy considering Ted spent a good few years introducing himself as "Hi, I'm Ted and I'm a meth addict."
When Justin walks into his mother's house, he's a little overwhelmed by all of the purple PFLAG paraphernalia strewn across the living room. "Did you hold up a Pride parade?"
Jenn laughs and begins moving a few posters from the couch to the coffee table. "No, no. A few of us are going to a PFLAG conference next week. Just getting ready."
Justin sits down in the recently cleared space as his mother sits down across from him in a chair.
"I forgot to say Happy Birthday. Happy Birthday, Justin."
"You know, now that you're thirty, I was going to ask about when you plan on getting married and having children." Jenn chuckles to herself , "but after hearing about what happened last night, I guess you're just not ready to settle down."
"How did you hear about that?"
"Oh, Brian called me. We talked this morning. It's the news of the day, honey."
"Wait, so to clarify, my boyfriend or whatever of 13 years told you I had anonymous sex with a 17-year-old, and you both think it's an amusing story?"
"Well, you have to admit it's pretty funny."
Debbie swings open the door to let Brian and Justin in. "Happy Birthday, Sunshine!" She pulls Justin into a hug and shuffles him into the dining room. The cake is on the table with candles lit and everyone's sitting around the table with stupid hats on. They all sing Happy Birthday. Justin blows out the candles and thanks God that they can move on from the birthday stuff and just enjoy dinner.
When he's done eating his food, he sits back to observe everyone else. Brian is sitting back as well, his arm over the back of Justin's chair. Justin knows that tomorrow or the day after Brian will surprise him with some big birthday trip because he still doesn't understand that big gestures aren't necessary when you're doing the day-to-day shit. So today, he'll pretend everything is business as usual. And business as usual means pretending to listen to Michael as Michael tries to keep him entertained.
Justin looks around the table. While Michael tells lame jokes to Brian, Emmett is trying to cheer Ted up. Mel and Lindsay are arguing. Debbie is trying to push more lasagna on Gus. And Justin makes a decision. "I'm too old for this shit." He says it under his breath and doubts anyone hears him. But he stands up and goes out the back door.
He lights up a joint he stole from Brian's stash. He's halfway through his smoke, when Debbie comes. She asks if he has another and Justin can't help but laugh. He starts digging for one. "My secondary maternal figure is asking me for a joint. Sure, why not? It's not like my life could get any weirder. I have sex with a stranger, and my boyfriend or whatever of 13 years doesn't blink an eye, I trust hundreds of thousands of dollars to a former porn producer and meth head, my boyfriend or whatever and my mother are apparently friendly enough to discuss my sex life and infidelity, and as I sit at that table and eat your lasagna I realize that in 13 years nothing has really changed. I don't even know what to call my boyfriend or whatever." Justin hands Debbie a joint.
"What was that Sunshine?" And of course Debbie isn't wearing the hearing aid that's necessary for her to hear out of her left ear.
Justin's lounging on the sofa with his head propped on an arm rest and his feet on the cushions. He's watching a Ren & Stimpy marathon he found on one of the too many Nickelodeon channels they have now and desperately trying to hold onto his buzz from his smoke with Deb. Thirty years old, smoking pot, and watching cartoons. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
When the doorbell rings and Brian opens the door to Mel and Lindsay it isn't much of a surprise. They haven't changed much either. Justin doesn't understand it. They come over without any type of warning. No call. No email. No text message. They drive halfway across town to ring the doorbell, fully expecting Brian to be home and willing to open the door. No sane person does that. Justin briefly considers buying them a book on etiquette for their anniversary.
"Hey Justin." Gus sits down on the other end of the sofa, picks up the remote, and turns the T.V. to the History Channel. No one knows where he picked up this weird habit, more like obsession, with watching the History Channel. It's been going on for a year now and everyone has mostly ignored it. In their little crazy family, obsessing over the History Channel is merely an educational eccentricity. Nothing to be concerned about. But what Justin realizes right now is that this is how it starts. Soon enough, Gus won't be able to function in normal society. He'll think crazy is normal and normal is crazy. It's too late for Justin, but not too late for Gus.
Justin takes the remote and changes the channel to ESPN. He's surprised he even knows the number. "Gus. This is what you should do. You want to be normal. Watch ESPN. Next year, try out for the football team. Date the head cheerleader. When you get to college, join a frat. When you graduate, marry a nice girl. Move to the burbs. Have a couple of kids. Get a dog. Have a nice, normal life.
"Sounds pretty boring." Gus picked up the remote and turned the television back to the History Channel.
"It's better than the alternative." And the alternative is the life Justin has. A life that is messy and complicated, full of incomprehensible people. A life that gives Justin headaches and stomachaches just thinking about it sometimes.
"You're high." Possibly. Probably. Definitely. Yeah, he's still pretty high and likely not making much sense. Justin stays silent. He doesn't bother lying to Gus. The kid is too smart. "It sounds like you're regretting some of the choices you've made. Justin, I've learned a lot in the last thirteen years and I can tell you this," Gus motions toward the television, "people don't write books, tell stories, or make movies about boring people. Hell, boring people aren't even remembered."
That's one way to think about it. "You know, this is the most mature conversation I've had all day."
Gus laughed. "I know. It sucks to be you." The program goes to commercial and Gus stands up. "You hungry?"
"Hell yes." Justin's been craving Cheetos for the last hour.
"You are so high." Gus walked past Justin toward the kitchen.
"Just fetch your dad's boyfriend or whatever of 13 years some Cheetos, kid."