Home For Christmas
Home for Christmas, by Sian265
Beta and plot bunny by the wonderful SydneyAlexis
Pairing and type. PWP; Fluff; Warm, fuzzy Christmas story,
etc.) Brian/Justin, angst with a happy ending
Cynthia looked up at the sound of rustling cloth. “Good morning Brian,” she called as her boss stormed pasted her with only a grunt.
She stared at the firmly closed door, shaking her head. It was going to be one more of ‘those’ days. It seemed lately that everyday found Kinnetic’s owner in a fouler mood than the day before, and Cynthia was about feed up.
The holiday season had always been a time when Brian’s moods drew darker, but nothing like this year. Oh he’d bitch, moan and complain about the commercialization, all the while doing his utmost best to avoid anything having to do with the holiday.
Cynthia was no dummy; she could pinpoint exactly the cause of this years funk, Justin.
Since Justin had departed to take the art world by storm some months ago, Brian’s mood grew from dark to down right horrid, and woe the employees and family that crossed his path. She’d expected him to ask her to make travel arrangements, but no such orders came.
It was the bellowed, “Cynthia!” that pulled her away from her thoughts and headed for the lion’s den. Cynthia grabbed the day planner and the coffee she had made ready for just such a shout and headed in.
She didn’t say a word, but secretly cringed at the steely look in Brian’s eyes. Setting the coffee by his right hand, she took a seat and opened the planner.
“This is what you have today,” and she went into it, outlining who was scheduled and what calls needed to be retuned and so forth. About half way through the lengthy list, she glanced up, surprised that no comments had been issued so far.
Brian’s gaze wasn’t even on her. He was staring off into space and Cynthia could tell by the preoccupied look that he’d not heard a word she had said.
“Brian,” she said. No response. “Brian?” This time her softer enquiry did the trick, and for a moment, Brian’s mask was absent, and Cynthia could see a deep unhappiness in those hazel eyes, before Brian quickly slammed the shutters in place.
“What?” he barked, frowning before tearing his eyes away and picking up his coffee.
Cynthia regarded him solemnly, but said nothing except continuing on with the day’s plan. Her level of tolerance had not been quiet exceeded yet, not enough to make her brave enough to face the infamous ‘Kinney wrath’. Cynthia wasn’t sure that he was listening now, that was until she reached the part about some story boards that needed his okay after they had been reworked.
Brian’s explosive, “Fuck!” had her shifting uneasily in her chair, but she raised cool eyes to him. Brian slammed his coffee down, ignoring the spillage and shot up from his desk to pace furiously. All Cynthia could make out was, “Dumb as shit... waste of his time... fucking lame assholes... not finding their own dicks with a sign that pointed the way.”
Cynthia listened to his histrionics’. Finally, when it seemed the worst of the storm had passed, she stood.
Looking him right in eye, she calmly said. “Either you make the plane reservations or I will, but one way or another you are going to get your ass to New York and get laid!” Marching passed her open-mouthed boss, Cynthia left.
Brian checked his e-mail again on the off chance that there would be a message from Justin but found nothing.
There had been little contact with Sunshine and it seemed the closer it came to the holiday’s the more illusive Justin became. Phone conversations were hurried with Justin sounding out of breath and practically rushing Brian off the phone. Hell, Brian couldn’t even remember the last good bout of phone sex!
Time and distance seemed to be doing the job of separating Brian and Justin. Brian kept waiting for a message through their family that Justin had met someone, or even worse, receive a Dear John letter. Brian didn’t know what Justin was working on or how the hunt to make a name for himself was coming, communication always a handicap for them, was again proving to be their downfall.
Brian had come so close, a couple of times to just saying to hell with it and booking a ticket, thinking that once they set eyes on each other, the distance and other barriers would shrink. He had hinted, so close to almost just blurting it out, that he wanted Justin home for the holiday’s, but the brush off continued; and now, tomorrow was Christmas Eve.
After another restless night spent tossing and turning, Brian got out of bed and immediately turned off the phone and his cell. He’d received the invite to Deb’s annual Christmas dinner. But the thought of sitting around the table, the ghosts of those missing all too obvious, turned his stomach. No Linds, no Gus, and it appeared very likely, no Sunshine.
The morning passed in a blur. Brian wondered from the sofa, to the windows, back to the bedroom, only to head back to the windows again. He turned the TV on, then when the sounds of some holiday shit started playing; the TV went off just as fast. The computer was next, but it also flashed a great big Merry Christmas screen and was promptly shut down. The radio was defiantly out; no way he wanted to listen to a bunch of fucking Christmas carols!
So the window it was, staring out at the great waste of the Pitts, the twinkle of the holiday lights mocking him…
Brian tore his eyes away, glancing almost frantic around the loft. He felt like the damn walls were closing in on him. If it hadn’t been so pathetic an idea, he would have blown out of there and headed to Babylon, but only trolls and losers would be there this early.
Brian’s eyes fell on the pictures that lined the wall behind his desk, and with a curse and Justin’s smiling face from the photo driving him. Brian haphazardly packed a bag and firmly closed the loft door behind him.
The glare of the headlights of cars passing had the driver squinting his eyes and his trembling hands gripped the steering wheel tighter. Finally, with a deep breath of relief, the turn signal was given and the car pulled off the road to begin the journey up a long gravel driveway.
He shouldered his bag and dug around his pockets for the key. Letting himself in, he dropped his luggage gratefully and closed the heavy door behind him. He’d made it, home.
Brian had made only one stop, and that was to the liquor store. Arriving at the house, he lit the fireplace but didn’t bother with any other lights. He curled up on the thick rug in front of the burning fire and took a drink of Beam. Ah, he thought, this was the way to spend a holiday. He’d made it half way through the bottle, when the sound of the front door opening caught his attention. He knew he had locked it, and no one else had a key. Brian didn’t get up, just shifted around to see the entryway.
His heart gave leap. One person had a key, but surely not, that was too much to hope for. But Brian would swear he could feel him. “Justin?” his voice came out gruff and the disbelief to obvious.
As soon as the blond head appeared around the corner, Brian was on his feet meeting Justin half way. He shut his eyes tightly and just held on as a cold nose was pressed firmly into the side of his neck. He breathed deeply, drawing that longed for scent into his lungs, and before Justin could speak, Brian whispered.
“Christ, I missed you Sunshine.”
Justin’s half laughed, half chocked on a sob. It had been worth it, this right here made it all worth while. The months of pounding the pavement, never taking no for an answer, painting until his hand screamed and cramped up on him. Every second that he had pushed himself harder and further than he ever before, just to get here, and stay.
It hadn’t hit him until he had been standing in the crappy shithole that Daphne had arranged for him to share. Justin didn’t know what he had forgotten. He had meant it with all his heart when he said it to Lindsay, and standing there that day, only 24 hours from Brian’s arms, he had meant it more than ever.
Brian was his opportunity of a lifetime.
Justin had never quit on anything in his life and he wasn’t about to start then. He gave himself a strict schedule and an even more important goal. He’d be home by Christmas with Brian.
He’d stalked agent after agent, until he finally found one. He’d negotiated for his art on his own terms, never backing down. And surprisingly, after most galleries and his agent heard that his inspiration was in Pittsburgh, the idea hadn’t been all that difficult to sell. Yes, he’d have to come back, but most important, he’d create where he had always created, home.
With Brian pressed tightly against him, Justin knew this was where he belonged.
He leaned back just a little in Brian’s arms. Looking up into those hazel eyes that graced so many of his paintings, Justin smiled. “I missed you too.”
As Brian’s lips took his, Justin knew there would be plenty of time to tell Brian his news; after all he was home now.