|xie_xie_xie (xie_xie_xie) wrote in qaf_challenges,|
@ 2007-11-17 00:26:00
It's raining the day Justin comes back from New York.
He lets nobody know, simply packs his bags, ends his lease, and gets on a plane. His agent doesn't sound surprised when he calls her before take-off, almost as an afterthought. He decides he'll call his New York friends later.
After collecting his bags, he steps outside of Pittsburgh International Airport and breathes in deeply. Raindrops moisten his hair and leave ephemeral, watery diamonds on his jacket.
"Taxi?" a man calls out from under a yellow umbrella.
Justin nods, and steps into the cab after his bags are safely inside the trunk.
"Six Fuller, corner of Tremont," he tells the driver.
The car starts and Justin stares out the window, taking in the city he was born in. The city he grew up in. The city he left. It seems smaller. The sky isn't really gray, it's silver, and the roads seem to flow like a glittering river. Everything moves at a slower pace, time seems to come to a stop. He's not sure how long he's been in the taxi, he's even lost track of how long ago he left New York.
Leaving wasn't a hasty decision, though he's sure Brian will say it was. Justin was walking down 53rd street, heading to an exposition he wanted check out in the Museum of Modern Art, when a sudden thought made him stop in his tracks. He mumbled an apology to the token "Watch where you're going, asshole!" thrown at him by a disgruntled somebody, and changed direction to the nearest Starbucks. Armed with a Chai latte, he sat on one of the couches and tried to make some sense of what he was thinking, allowing the realization to sink in. On that day, four years ago, he had left Pittsburgh; left behind a dream he thought he wanted, to fight for the dream he was always meant to have.
He's done well, though it has been a lot harder than he'd expected; he has an agent, he has a reputation and he's built a life, complete with an apartment, friends and a favorite breakfast place. He isn't "Brian's twink" any longer. He's not "the boy who got bashed at his prom", or the gay avenger in a pink t-shirt. He doesn't feel like "the blonde who tamed Kinney," anymore. He is simply Justin Taylor. He is ready to come home.
The loud and discordant sound of a car horn brings him out of his musings, and he notices they're not too far from Liberty Avenue. He can see the tell-tale signs through the misted window. First, blurred rainbow flags, then, advertisements for ‘Full Frontal Friday at Pistol' and, finally, two guys kissing against a lamppost, mindless of the rain. The street is the same, even if the names of places are different and he doesn't recognize any of the quickly moving pedestrians; the spirit of Liberty Avenue hasn't changed, it's still the place where his life started.
As they approach Brian's street, Justin's heart rate increases as the blocks that separate him from the loft diminish, his palms sweat. He has no idea what the hell he's going to say, no idea what he's going to do when he finally sees Brian. For the first time since deciding to leave New York City, he doubts himself. Four years. He can't believe it's been four years.
The taxi pulls to a stop in front of the familiar brick building, and now his palms are dry and his heart is beating at a normal place; a strange sort of calm has invaded him. He gets out of the car and pays the driver, who takes the bags out of the trunk and carries them to the door of the building. Justin digs around his wallet and grimaces when he sees he has no money left for a tip… he knew he should've gone to the ATM after getting off the plane. He walks towards the cabbie, ready to apologize, but there's a strange shift in the air, and Justin looks sideways.
Brian is walking towards him.
Justin sees him approach, taking in the details as the distance between them shrinks. Brian's wearing a brown leather jacket, the color of dark chocolate, over a white wifebeater, covered by the jacket so that Justin imagines, more than sees, Brian's tight muscles underneath. He's got on those faded jeans that hug his long legs, and his brown Prada boots. He looks fucking beautiful, as he always has; more than he ever has. Justin can tell Brian's noticed him, not because his pace quickens or slows, simply because it changes.
Finally, Brian is standing next to him. He takes out a couple of twenties and thrusts them at the cab driver. The man thanks Brian and says something else before getting into the car and driving off, but neither Brian nor Justin hear him.
Justin bites the corner of his lip, then, speaks.
Brian frowns, hazel eyes examining Justin carefully. After a moment, he gives a small nod and smiles.
Justin takes one step closer, stepping into a small puddle, the water staining his suede shoes like blood staining satin, but he doesn't care. One of Brian's hands cups the back of his neck; Justin's hands come to rest on Brian's hips. They both breathe in, remembering and recognizing each other with all the senses. Justin catches the scent of new Hugo Boss leather, cigarette smoke, and seduction, that scent which is entirely Brian's.
Brian smells the skin of a boy who's become a man. He sees strength in blue eyes. Feels the slight cool sweat of an artist.
Justin raises his chin slightly, and their lips meet, warm and certain, desperate and just right.
It's still raining, and the drops fall on their cheeks, their eyelids, their clutching hands. Drops fall and trickle on them, through them, the coolness a perfect contrast to the molten heat unfurling inside them.
The rain falls, silent and liquid witness to the reunion, to the inevitable coming together of these two men.
"I'm glad you're back," Brian whispers against Justin's lips. "Even if kissing in the rain is ridiculously romantic."
They both smile.
From this day on, rainy days will be Justin's favorites.