There are times, when the phone rings in the middle of the night, that you roll over and expect to run into David's warm body as you reach for the receiver. You expect his hairy thigh against yours and his sleepy grimace and "oof!" as you haul the cordless back to your side and answer.
But, of course, he's not there.
And there are times, when that same phone rings, and it's four a.m. and you're sweaty and you've been dancing all night at Babylon and just want to crash...that you expect it to be Brian. And it usually is...but that's not what you expect. What you expect is his voice coming slurred and frantic and barely distinguishable from interference and airplane engines. You expect him to convey, like in some parallel universe game of charades, things like "Justin" and "blood" and "hospital" and "need you."
But, of course, he doesn't.
Because that was over a month ago.
But you still remember. You remember dropping your carry-on bag, there, in the walkway and feeling your stomach bottom out. David ...plane...waiting...but no...oh, fuck, no. You know Brian couldn't possibly remember what he said to you...but you'll never forget.
He said "fuck." So many times that it drove you back against the wall and you stumbled as you ran back out into the gate area...out of the terminal. "Fuck" and "God" and "Mikey Mikey Mikey". He sounded high and dazed and terrified. Like the time he fell from the top of the rope in gym class and landed, hard, on the mats. You think he fell even harder this time.
He said "hospital" and that was where you went. Your heart was pounding and your lungs wouldn't work and you grabbed the first cab you saw and told the guy to hurry. The last time you'd been at the hospital for Brian was the night Gus was born...and, this time, you were going for him not because of birth...but because his lover might be dying.
For as long as you can remember, it has always been you and Brian. Reading comics and smoking joints and taking punches on the playground together. He always looked out for you, came to your rescue...and you always came when he called. This was no different...except that there was someone else now. Someone else who loved him.
Someone he was on the verge of losing.
He said "Justin", too...as you held the cell phone to your ear. It was the last thing he said before you heard the sirens in the background and he was gone. "Justin", he cried, like someone had taken a piece of him and ripped it up. Like someone had bruised and broken him in the most horrible of ways. You know, now, that someone did.
So, when the phone rings in the middle of the night, you know it's going to be him. That is a given.
And you know you will always answer. No matter what. No matter who. You know you will always come for Brian Kinney.
But you hope to God you never have to hear him die again.
Because it just might fucking kill you.
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