Lindsay and Melanie bustled around putting the finishing touches on their make-up and clothes all the while spitting out bits of last-minute instructions to Justin who sat playing with Gus in their bedroom. Passing by to grab her pump, Melanie kissed him on the cheek. "You're an angel for doing this on such short notice."

Not to be outdone, Lindsay kissed him on the other cheek. "We haven't been out to dinner in ages."

"We'd get to go out more often if we could trust Brian."

Unable to let her get away with even the tiniest slight against Brian, Justin said in his defense, "Brian loves Gus. He'd never let anything happen to him."

Mel paused with her shoe in her hand. "You're right. I'm sorry. Old habits," she offered as an excuse.

From downstairs came the sound of someone knocking at the door. Justin stood with the baby in his arms. "I'll get it. Come on, Gus, let's see who's it is." Before he was completely down the stairs he knew it was Brian. It was a feeling he got whenever he was near him. Maybe it was some kind of pheromone. All he knew was that they were connected somehow. So, he was not surprised at all to find Brian waiting to be let in. "Hey."

Brian didn't seem surprised either to see him. "How much are they paying you per hour?"

" I'd do it for free." He handed Gus to his Dadda. He loved seeing Brian with the baby, it just seemed natural. Brian had such strong hands and yet he never seemed gentler than when he was holding his son.

Just then the two women appeared. "Bri," called Lindz, eyes lighting up. Justin didn't think she was glad to see him because of the visit alone. True enough, she pecked him on the cheek and asked, "What are you doing tonight?"

"Nothing. That's why I'm here."

"Feel like babysitting?"

Brian glanced at Justin. "Not getting your money's worth?"

"I mean," she explained, "all night." Mel looked inquiringly at her. "We're having dinner at an inn outside of town and it'd be nice to stay overnight..?" she explained.

Putting up no resistance at all, Brian agreed. "Sure. Pack his bag- bags- and I'll take him to my place." Gave Justin a look. "Both of them."

Justin carried the baby's bassinet into the loft and placed it in the bedroom while Brian settled Gus down on top of the dining table. He noticed that Brian looked a little pale but put it down to the lighting. Only, when he came back, Brian was sitting with his head bowed. Laying a hand on his shoulder, Justin asked, "You feel okay?"

"Headache," he murmured.

Without being asked, Justin got two Tylenol from the medicine cabinet and poured Brian a glass of water, carried it to him. "Here."


Although he didn't think it was likely, it was always good to check with Brian since they hadn't spent last night or today together. "Hangover?"

"No," he whispered, rubbing his temples. Pinched the skin between his eyes. "I just feel a little run-down, that's all."

Justin let his hand brush against Brian's neck as he moved to sit down across from him. "You work too hard."

Reaching in to tickle Gus, who had begun to pout at being neglected, Brian replied, "Babies are expensive." Gus smiled and gurgled, eyes fixed on his daddy.

"Why don't you lie down? I can watch Gus. I was going to anyway," he explained in case Brian decided to protest. But he didn't.

"Yeah," he agreed. "Just for a few minutes."

Justin watched as he climbed the steps to the bedroom and dropped off his jacket and pushed off his shoes, each movement performed with a weariness that seemed bone deep. He wanted to go to him and kiss him and make it better but figured what Brian really needed was to get some rest. You couldn't work ten- and twelve-hour days and then party half the night away without it catching up to you eventually. And, as much as he hated being reminded of it, Brian wasn't getting any younger. Not that he cared. Brian could be a hundred and he'd still be the hottest guy Justin had ever met or could ever imagine meeting. He glimpsed Brian through the glass wall drawing back the covers and slipping beneath the sheet. Good. An hour nap was probably all he needed.

Gus woke from his nap fussy and wet. Justin changed him and then gave him some warm formula- having tested it first on the back of his hand- that was one lesson he'd never forget. As he fed Gus, he studied the baby's face. He really was starting to look more and more like Brian. He had his daddy's hazel eyes and lips for sure. Lucky baby. Not that Lindsay wasn't pretty too. Gus had her nose, which was probably a good thing. Two identical Brian Kinneys in the world would be one too many. As much as he loved the man, he also admitted that Brian could be a handful on the best of days. On the worst of days... God help anybody who got in his way. And as a frequent recipient of the brunt of Brian's anger Justin had learned to shield himself against it by reminding himself that most of the time Brian was really angry with himself or hurt and didn't know how to deal with it. But he was getting better. At admitting that things actually bothered him, hurt him. Before he would have said he didn't care, that it didn't matter, but more and more he had come to trust Justin, letting him see the vulnerability beneath the cold exterior, now that he realized Justin did care, was willing to listen, willing to offer advice and comfort.

Placing Gus in his carrier, Justin peeked in on Brian. He was fast asleep, his brow creased, evidence of the pain he was still experiencing. Just then Gus started to fuss again and he quickly picked him up and carried him to the living room and sat in the chair by the farthest window from the bedroom. "Hey," he said softly, "what's the matter? Huh?" Gus gazed up at him with those big, hazel eyes that were so like his father's. "You miss Lindz and Mel? Or do you miss your Dadda?" He hugged the baby. "I miss him too. Tell you what, how about I tell you a story until he wakes up?" He glanced down at Gus. "A fairy tale. Would you like that?" Gus seemed to be paying attention so Justin figured he'd better work fast to keep it that way. "Okay, a fairy tale. How about "A Tale of Two Princes?" By Justin Taylor." He smiled and Gus giggled. Shifting the baby to the crook of his arm, he began.

"Once upon a time there was a prince named Sunshine who decided to visit the land of Liberty. He was from the land of Suburbia which was not very far away but far enough away that Libertyland seemed like a whole other world. And it was. It was full of fairies and sprites and witches and brownies and a few trolls- there's always a few trolls. Anyway, while he was in Libertyland he met the most beautiful man he had ever seen: Prince Charming. He had brown hair- but not boring, ordinary brown hair- he had hair like autumn leaves, and when he stood in the light, you could see bronze and copper highlights in it; and he had beautiful hazel eyes and perfect lips... In fact, he looked a lot like your Dadda." Justin blushed, it still amazed him that he could be that affected by Brian, by the way he looked and moved and... He smiled. "Back to the story. Prince Sunshine, or the Boy Wonder as his friends called him, was no troll either. He was a total hottie, with the most perfect blond hair that always looked great no matter what, beautiful blue eyes, and a smile that could melt your heart." He turned to the baby. "Kinda like me." Gus reached for Justin's face and the teenager kissed his tiny fingers.

"Now," continued Justin, "this being a fairy tale, Prince Sunshine fell head over heels in love with Prince Charming and Prince Charming took one look at Sunshine and it was love at first sight for him too, although he wasn't as demonstrative about it as Prince Sunshine. That means he didn't like to show his feelings. It's a SAT word. You'll learn all about the SATs later. Or maybe you'll be lucky and you won't have to take them. So, Prince Charming carried Sunshine back to the palace on his black steed, Wrangler. And they had dinner and talked about all kinds of things, about the movies, and art, and music- Prince Sunshine was a fabulous artist and a really good dancer- and they danced until midnight. They would have danced longer but the court musicians were getting tired so they decided to go to bed. Prince Charming and Prince Sunshine that is." He paused and looked Gus straight in the eyes. "Now, I'm about to tell you something that you're too young to know about, but you're too young to understand it anyway. Prince Charming carried Prince Sunshine upstairs to his bedroom. It was the most wonderful place Sunshine had ever seen. There were candles everywhere so that everything was cast in this soft light. Very romantic. But the best part of Prince Charming's room was the bed. It was huge. Four people could have slept in it. At first, Prince Sunshine was a little nervous because even though he was very brave and very smart and knew exactly what he wanted, he was still a little scared. Because Prince Charming was so beautiful, and smart, and fun, and a little dangerous- he was everything Sunshine had ever dreamed of. It was like a dream. And he didn't know what he had done to deserve having all of his dreams come true. They made love all night long and it was wonderful." Justin lost his way among his memories of his first time with Brian. It was everything he had told Daphne and more. He didn't have words to describe how he had felt. Even looking back, knowing what he did, he didn't think he'd change anything, even being a little afraid had been kind of exciting. Not knowing what Brian was going to do to him, not having any idea about the things they could do.

"Prince Sunshine had never felt so alive in all of his life," he told the baby, "and he knew right then that he wanted to stay with Prince Charming forever. Only, he had to go back to his own kingdom. He knew that his parents, the King and Queen of Suburbia, would be worried about him. So the next day he left a note for Prince Charming while he was still sleeping, and returned home." Justin heard Brian stirring. With Gus in his arms he went to see what was wrong. Brian still looked terrible and a glaze of sweat covered his face and body. He had kicked off most of the sheet so that it barely concealed his midsection. "You all right?"

"I feel like shit," muttered Brian.

"Is it just your head?" Brian shook his head but didn't say what else. "Maybe we should go to the Emergency Room."

"I'll be okay," Brian said, not too keen on doctors and hospitals. "I just need to lie down for a while." He tried to raise up to look at the clock and couldn't. "How long have I been asleep?"

"Almost two hours."

"Shit." He wiped his face. "I'll get up."

"No." Justin put Gus down on the bed, far enough from the edge that he wouldn't roll off, and went to Brian.

"I could be contagious," Brian said trying to fend him off. "Take Gus out of here."

"If you are, it's too late." Justin felt Brian's forehead. "You're burning up. Probably got some kind of virus. You want something to drink?"

Brian whispered, "No. I feel nauseous."

"I'm calling Lindsay."

"Don't. She'll just bitch at me for not telling her I was sick and for taking Gus and exposing him to whatever it is I've got."

"You didn't know. So they can't blame you."

He would have laughed but he didn't have the energy. "What fucking fairy tale are you living in?"

"One where I'm the hero. And I get to save-"

"Let me guess: the damsel in distress."

"I don't think anyone's ever called you a damsel."

"Are you sure you can save me?"

Justin leaned over and kissed Brian softly on the lips. "Positive." He picked up the baby. "Come on, Gus, and let your Dadda sleep." And to Brian, "Go to sleep."

Brian closed his eyes hoping the room would stop spinning.

Seating himself once more in the living room, Justin continued his story. "Where were we? Oh. So Sunshine returned to Suburbia and told his parents that he wanted to spend the rest of his life in Libertyland with Prince Charming and they totally freaked. They locked him up in a tower and threw away the key. They even fed him through a slot in the door and he couldn't have any visitors. Now, Sunshine's best friend, Lady Talkalot, noticed that he hadn't been around much lately, so she went looking for him and found out about the tower. Since she didn't have a key, she couldn't get him out by the door, but Lady Talkalot had a magic, flying horse and she flew up to the window of the tower and Sunshine climbed onto her horse's back and they flew off together to Libertyland.

"But things had changed. Prince Charming had changed. When Sunshine went to see him, Prince Charming acted like he didn't even know him and they had spent the most romantic evening together. But Prince Charming just brushed him off. And it didn't help that his best friend, the Wicked Stepmother," and at that Justin curved his fingers into claws and Gus giggled and Justin said it again in a creepy voice, "the Wicked Stepmother didn't like Prince Sunshine. Of course, the reason he didn't like Sunshine was that the Wicked Stepmother used to be a Drama Princess and was in love with Prince Charming but that was a long time ago before he married well and became the Wicked Stepmother. Anyway, Prince Sunshine was really confused because Prince Charming had seemed to really like him before. But he wouldn't give up. He found a place to stay with this crazy PFLAG Fairy Godmother and started showing up everywhere Prince Charming went figuring if Charming saw him everywhere, maybe he'd start to like him again. Yeah, totally pathetic, AND desperate, but it's what he did.

"Now, Prince Charming's parents were always trying to get him to marry some insipid, simpering princess despite the fact that he seemed to prefer boys, so they threw a lot of balls. At which a lot of boys showed up and a few girls-although they mostly danced with each other and not Prince Charming. Prince Charming danced with the boys. Through a friend of a friend Sunshine scored an invitation to the ball. Everyone was there: Prince Charming, the Wicked Stepmother, and all their friends: the Lavender Witch, the Good Butch Witch, Rainbow Sprite, the Little Leather Pig, and the PFLAG Fairy Godmother.

"That evening Prince Charming seemed to be his old self and he danced with Prince Sunshine the way he had on their first date, except that he danced with all these other boys too. But since he seemed to dance more dances with him, Sunshine thought he was in good shape. Then the clock struck midnight and Prince Charming disappeared. Prince Sunshine, deciding that it was a good beginning, got ready to go. Just as he was putting some snacks he had appropriated from the buffet for later into his pocket, he felt something in there. It was a note and it said, 'I'm waiting.' Sure that it came from Prince Charming, Sunshine rushed up to Charming's room only to see that there were about ten guys standing in line on the stairs. And all the guys had notes in their hands. But he still wouldn't believe his Prince Charming could be so cruel, so he waited and pretty soon the door to his true love's room opened and a guy stumbled out half-dressed with a stupid grin on his face. And behind him was Prince Charming. He glanced at the line, smirked, and said, 'Next.' Sunshine didn't know what to do. He couldn't believe that Charming would even physically be able to be with that many guys, and then he heard one of the guys in front of him say that Charming had a magical appendage that could stay hard for hours and that he loved to use it. His heart broken, he went back downstairs to drown his sorrows in a couple of margaritas.

"The Good Butch Witch and the Lavender Witch, who had become fast friends with the prince during his stay in Libertyland, saw that he was sad and asked him what was wrong. When he told them, the Good Butch Witch said, 'That asshole.'

"But Prince Sunshine defended him saying, 'Maybe I pushed too hard.'

" 'No,' explained the Lavender Witch, 'what she means is you've been confusing Prince Alarming with Prince Charming.'

" 'Prince Alarming?' He was confused.

"So the Lavender Witch explained the entire tragic story, how as a young man Prince Charming had had a freak accident with a rubber sex toy. 'Which turned him into a dick head,' the Good Butch Witch said interrupting.

" 'Now you know,' the Lavender Witch revealed. 'Prince Alarming is really Prince Charming's alter ego.'

"Prince Sunshine couldn't believe it! He was astounded. He was shocked. And happier than he ever thought he would be after seeing the line up the stairs. There was a reason why Prince Charming was acting so strange, so mean, so cruel. Sunshine had been afraid it was something he had done, but, no, it was only a medical condition. 'Does he take medication?'

"The Good Butch Witch held up her fingers and made a quotes sign as she said, 'Oh, yeah, he's very fond of 'medication.' Only it doesn't do any good. Once a dick head, always a dick head.'

"But Prince Sunshine wouldn't believe that it was hopeless. If you loved someone enough, you could save them. Even from themselves. Going back to the stairwell that led to Prince Charming/Alarming's bedroom, Sunshine got back in line and waited his turn. If that's what it took, that's what it took.

"Meanwhile, the other guests at the party who hadn't been invited to the after-party party began discussing what to do. 'I hooked up with an alpha werewolf and I'm gonna meet him at his place in a half-hour,' said the Little Leather Pig. 'Just don't let him turn you into a briefcase,' warned Rainbow Sprite and he cocked his little crystal tiara to one side and went looking for love in all the wrong places. The Wicked Stepmother decided to go home to his hubby and count their gold pieces and their oil paintings, and to make sure the servants had washed their fine china and polished the silverware for their soiree tomorrow. Only, nobody cared except the PFLAG Fairy Godmother who felt it was her duty to think good thoughts about everybody, even the whiney, bitchy Wicked Stepmother. The Lavender Witch and the Good Butch Witch stumbled off together, having imbibed a bit too much happy juice at the bar.

"Finally, there was no one left except Prince Sunshine waiting his turn on the stairs. Although Prince Alarming had been averaging about fifteen minutes per guy, he'd been in there about twenty minutes with this last guest. Biting down on his impatience, Sunshine went through all the reasons why he shouldn't give up on Charming and by the time he'd gotten to 'He's got lovely, long legs,' the door opened and out tumbled a very exhausted, half-dressed fairy. Sunshine's heart started to pound as he came face to face with Prince Alarming.

"Of course, Prince Alarming looked just like Prince Charming but Sunshine thought he'd be less attracted to Alarming since he was such an asshole. Nope. The moment Alarming caught hold of his arm and dragged him into his bedroom, Sunshine began to swoon." Justin stopped. "Do you understand what swooning is?" he asked the baby. Gus just stared at him. "Well, it means that you feel dizzy and sick and excited and nervous and light-headed and really hot all at the same time." He pursed his lips. "Do you think Sunshine was right to feel that way about Prince Alarming? I mean, after all, he did look like Prince Charming, I mean, he was Prince Charming, just different. Just the bad side of Charming. Like when you wake up and you've got bed hair. Only, it's like your personality has bed hair. It doesn't mean it's not you, it's just a part of you." He paused before saying, "A bad part of you." A cloud passed over his head. "But it wasn't Prince Charming's fault. He'd had an accident and he couldn't help it. Why was Sunshine the only one to understand that?" Justin was just about to go on with the story when he heard Brian again. Not sure what was happening, he put Gus in his carrier first and then went to the bedroom, intercepting Brian just as he was about to get up on obviously unsteady feet. "Stay in bed."

Brian resisted. "I have to piss."

"Hold onto me," Justin ordered, and he slid an arm around Brian's waist and helped him to the bathroom. When he made to unzip Brian's jeans and take out his cock, Brian brushed his hands away.

"I can do it." And he did, only it took about four times as long as it would have taken Justin and the teen was afraid Brian was going to pee on himself before he got his dick out. Still, it was a minor victory. He did allow Justin to escort him back to bed, help him undress, and to feel his forehead again.

"You still have a fever. I'll get you some more Tylenol and some juice. You don't want to get dehydrated."

Brian held onto Justin's hand. "Where's Gus?"

"In his carrier."

He let go and closed his eyes. "What a fucking disaster."

"No," Justin said firmly, "you're just sick. No big deal. Gus is fine and even if he does get sick, babies get sick. Remember last time?"

Brian smiled softly. "He'll be a year old pretty soon."

Brushing Brian's hair back from his forehead, Justin asked, "What are you gonna get him for his birthday?"

"Maybe a baby Jeep, so he can cruise around town."

"And pick up tricks?" asked Justin.

"Or chicks. I don't think he's decided yet." He tried to laugh and couldn't really.

Justin cupped Brian's face for a moment. "I'll get the Tylenol." After he had gotten Brian to take two more pills and to drink an entire glass of guava juice, he pulled the sheet over him and sat next to him until he fell asleep again. Then he kissed him on the forehead and went to finish Gus' story.

Except Gus had fallen asleep too. Lifting Gus from his carrier, he ferried him to Brian's room and put him down in his bassinet. With both of his men asleep, Justin figured he'd get some shut-eye as well. Stripping down to his undies, careful not to disturb Brian, he crawled into bed and hoped he could fall asleep as quickly as the other two.

And he dreamt.

Prince Sunshine could hardly contain himself as Prince Alarming drew him into his bed chambers. It looked the same yet something seemed different. The air was thick with the smell of sex and it turned him on, to think of Alarming with those other men, lying in their arms, fucking them. He moaned and Prince Alarming pushed him onto the bed and tore open his clothes. They kissed, hard, mouths mashed together, tongues warring between open lips. By the time Alarming rose off of him, he could hardly catch his breath. He watched as his lover removed his own clothes and knelt over his head. Holding onto the headboard with one hand, Alarming used his free hand to feed Sunshine his balls. Pressing down on the base of his cock, he forced his nuts into Sunshine's greedy mouth. Prince Sunshine couldn't get enough of the slippery flesh. He sucked and licked and kissed whatever was pushed between his lips, having given control over to Alarming. Finally, he was given Alarming's cock to suck, which he did, humming and moaning around the shaft as the prince pumped his dick inside his mouth. Saliva ran down his chin as he slurped on the fat head and thick stem, the juicy balls. His cock stiffening, Alarming began to fuck Sunshine's face, slowly, watching, through half-open eyes, his dick slide in and out of the youth's mouth.

To Sunshine's dismay, Alarming withdrew his cock and crawled between his thighs, turned so that he faced his partner. Sunshine had wanted to eat on his cock and balls all night. And then all disappointment vanished as Alarming pounced on his meat and devoured him. Grabbing the headboard in his hands, he held on as the prince hard sucked his cock. Head lolling back and forth on the pillow, Sunshine grimaced when Alarming pressed on either side of his dick head and opened up his piss hole. With an evil grin, Alarming used the tip of his tongue to fuck Sunshine's dick. The youth's feet slid on the bed as he fought for purchase and found none. His back arched and fell as he struggled to contain the sensations that seemed to whip him all over. He felt raw, exposed, beaten. Slumping to the bed, he could only whimper as Alarming closed his mouth over the head of his cock and began phase II, rotating his head as he slowly moved down the youth's shaft, so that the cock head rubbed all around his mouth, his piss hole sliding against tongue, cheek, teeth, throat. Sunshine moaned and pressed on the back of Alarming's head. It made no sense, to keep him in place, when what he wanted, he thought, was for this torture to end. Only, he couldn't push him away.

As his cock slipped from between the prince's lips, Sunshine sighed. He was as hard as an oak tree. His dick was flat against his belly and it leaked freely. Alarming took hold of him just below the head and lifted his dick free, a line of precum still joined to his belly. But he didn't suck him again, for which Sunshine was grateful. He didn't think he could last another minute. Releasing him, Alarming motioned for him to turn over. He did and got to his knees. Just as he got into position, Alarming mounted him. His cock pushed through the tight ring of muscle guarding Sunshine's bowels and paused. Sunshine thought he would scream as the broad head stretched his lips open. And then the pressure lessened as Alarming fed him another inch or so. And another inch. And another, continually advancing until he was completely buried in the youth's ass...

Still dreaming, Justin moaned, waking Brian from an uneasy sleep. He turned over and shook Justin as hard as his weakened muscles would allow. In an instant Justin's eyes opened. "What?" he asked, his voice belying his grogginess.

"You were moaning," Brian answered, feeling between Justin's legs. He encountered the teen's erection. "Go beat off in the bathroom and come back to bed."

"Maybe I'll wait for you," Justin offered. "It's probably a 24-hour bug."

"What if it lasts longer?"

"I'll be horny enough to come five times in one night."

"And how would that be different from any other night?" He closed his eyes but didn't go back to sleep. "What were you dreaming about?" Justin gave him a look. "Who were you dreaming about?" Again a look. "You know, you really need to broaden your horizons, else we'll never have anything to talk about."

"Like your favorite topic of conversation isn't Brian Kinney," snorted Justin.

"The most fascinating subject imaginable."

"Now who's got no imagination?"

Brian smiled weakly. "I think I've demonstrated my creative abilities on many occasions."

Unable to dispute that claim, Justin retreated. "You feeling better?" But before Brian could answer, he covered his mouth and stumbled from the bed towards the bedroom. "Uh-oh," Justin commented, and he grabbed a wastebasket in case Brian didn't make it. He barely got to the toilet in time, dropped to his knees, and lifted the lid before he began to vomit. Afterwards, he sat on the cool floor with his head against the vanity. Justin wet a cloth and squatted in front of him. Wiped his face. "What did you have to eat today?"

"Nothing," replied Brian. "I didn't feel like eating."

Justin brushed the man's hair back, limp like he was. "And yesterday?"

"I don't remember." He thought about it and revised his answer. "Pie. I had some pie."

"Could be food poisoning."

"I hope it is." When Justin looked puzzled, he explained, "Then Gus can't get it. Neither can you."

"Your stomach feel okay? Any cramps?" Brian shook his head. "Might have gotten lucky. Sounds like a mild case. The diarrhea's the worse." He stood, held out his hand. Brian took it and Justin helped him back to bed, after which he made his patient drink two glasses of juice. "Can't get dehydrated."

Brian finished the second glass and laid back, exhausted. "You're good with people." Plucked at the covers. "Lots of patience." Said guiltily, "Not something I'm known for."

"Nope. Trying people's patience, that's what you're known for," teased Justin.

"When I'm feeling better, you're gonna get it," Brian said, closing his eyes. The last thing he heard clearly was Justin saying, "Counting on it."

Justin watched Brian until he had fallen asleep, then checked Gus, who had slept through it all. Satisfied that both Dadda and Sonny Boy were well, Justin tried to salvage what was left of the night.

Unfortunately, Brian woke up about fifteen minutes later and made another wobbly dash to the bathroom, and then sat on the floor, miserable, unshed tears in his eyes. Gus, of course, decided to wake up at that exact moment and cry, so that between comforting the baby and coaxing Brian back to bed, Justin thought he would lose his mind. Finally, Gus settled down again and he managed to get Brian off the floor and into bed. By that time it was about two-thirty and he wondered if it was even worth trying to get a couple hours sleep. But he couldn't keep his eyes opened if he wanted to and he didn't think he wanted anything so much as to sleep uninterrupted for three hours. So he slept.

Justin managed to wake up before the baby and to shower without waking either of the two sleepyheads. But by the time he returned to the bedroom, the baby was wide awake. And fussy but not crying. Taking him from his bassinet, Justin carried him to the dining table and unpacked the bag with his food in it. Took out his cereal and removed a bottle of formula and a jar of fruit puree from the fridge. Per Lindsay's instructions, he mixed about a teaspoon of the dry cereal with two tablespoons of formula, placed it in the microwave for ten seconds, then stirred it thoroughly, let it sit for about a minute, and tested a bit of it. Tasted horribly bland to him but it was just the right temperature. As he fed Gus the cereal, he heated up a bottle of formula on the stove. After Gus had finished his cereal, Justin gave him his bottle. Lindsay said that sometimes he'd drink it all and other times he'd be full from the cereal. Today he drank all of it. "Sweet baby," crooned Justin. "What a good baby." Gus giggled, eyes bright. "Let's see if your Dadda's awake." But Brian was still asleep. He hadn't thrown up anymore and Justin figured he just needed the rest. Tiptoeing to the bathroom with Gus, he washed him and changed his diaper and clothes. Lindsay and Mel could wash his hair later. That done, Justin plopped Gus in his carrier while he put on a pot of coffee and rummaged around in the refrigerator for something to eat. The pickings were sparse. Luckily there were two bagels and about three teaspoons of cream cheese left in the container. No wonder Brian stayed so thin. Granted, he did eat out a lot or ordered in.

A bagel and a cup of coffee in one hand, Gus in the other, Justin headed for the living room, put Gus down on the white rug with his stuffed leather bear, and hoped he wouldn't spit up on it. Brian's loft hadn't been decorated with a baby in mind. After he finished his coffee and bagel, he got down on the floor with the baby and played peek-a-boo with Gus and the bear. As much as he loved playing with Gus though, his mind was on Brian. Aware that he couldn't do anything until Brian woke up, Justin decided to distract himself by finishing his story. Gus played on oblivious to his efforts.

"Okay, Gus, back to Prince Sunshine. So Sunshine and Alarming finished having sex, and Sunshine was prepared for the prince to tell him to beat it, but he didn't. He let Sunshine stay with him until morning and then they had breakfast together and took a walk in the gardens and went riding and Sunshine began to realize that Prince Charming was gradually returning to normal. They spent all day together and all night and by the second day Sunshine was certain that he was with Charming and not Alarming. Especially when Charming asked him, 'Where did you go? I found your note and I waited but you never came back.' Prince Sunshine explained to Charming what had happened and Charming forgave him and all was well. They decided that Prince Charming would tell his parents that he was never going to marry a princess and that he and Sunshine were going to live together in the palace and rule Libertyland together when the time came and that was that. Sunshine was so happy that he ran all of the way back to the PFLAG Fairy Godmother's place to pack his stuff and meet Charming at the palace.

"Suitcases in hand, he arrived at the palace gates but Prince Charming was nowhere in sight. And all of the palace guards were running around like they had gone crazy. 'What's going on?' he asked and the guards told him that Prince Charming had been kidnapped by an evil wizard. 'Which way did they go?' They pointed south. 'Is anyone going after them?' The guards shrugged. Demanding to be let inside, Prince Sunshine confronted the King and Queen. 'Is anyone going to rescue Prince Charming?'

" 'He's no longer our son,' replied the King and the Queen agreed. 'If he won't get married and behave like a member of royalty should behave, then good riddance to bad rubbish.' Which basically means, 'See ya!' " Justin explained to Gus. "Despondent and dejected, Prince Sunshine returned to the PFLAG Fairy Godmother's house and told her the sad news.

" 'Well, what are you going to do?' she asked him, and he thought about it and realized that without Prince Charming life had no meaning.

" 'I'm going to rescue him.'

" 'It could be dangerous.'

" 'I don't care. I love him and I'd do anything for him.' So Prince Sunshine put food and supplies in his backpack and went around to say goodbye to all of his friends in case he didn't see them again. Surprisingly, the Little Leather Pig, Rainbow Sprite, AND the Wicked Stepmother volunteered to join him. Not certain how much help those three would be in a crisis, Prince Sunshine agreed to let them accompany him-"

The phone rang. Certain it was Lindsay, Justin jumped up and grabbed the cordless phone on Brian's desk. "Hello?"

"Justin. Lindz. How's Gus?"

"He's okay. He's on the floor playing with his teddy bear."

"Let me talk to him."

So Justin put the phone to Gus' ear and listened while Lindsay talked to him. Gus gurgled and waved his hands about in delight. When Justin heard her saying his name, he put the phone back to his ear. "Yeah?"

"Where's Bri?"


"Did he go out last night?"

"No." He paused, debated whether or not to tell her. Decided to. She should probably know. "He was sick. I think it was food poisoning."

"Is he all right?"

"Yeah. I think so. He threw up a couple of times late last night but he's been sleeping okay since then."

"Poor guy. You must be exhausted."

"I'm okay. He's the one who was sick."

"Yeah, but I know how much Bri hates to be sick and when he is, he can be a handful."

He shrugged. "He wasn't too bad. Slept a lot."

"Well, I'll come and get Gus. How about I pick up some breakfast on my way over? I know Brian's cupboard is usually bare."

"Get plenty of juice. I'm trying to keep him from getting dehydrated."

"Deal." As soon as he hung up, he heard footsteps behind him.

Brian swayed and caught hold of the sofa's back. "Was that Lindsay?"

"She's coming over and bringing breakfast."

Turning a little pale at the mention of food, Brian walked around to the front of the sofa and plopped down on it. Gus turned. "Hey, Sonny Boy." Gus crawled over and Brian hung his hand down for the baby to tug. "Did you tell her I was sick?"

"Yeah," Justin admitted sheepishly. When Brian didn't yell he asked, "How do you feel?"

"Like I'll live. Although I'm not sure that's a good thing." Looking down at Gus to avoid looking at Justin, he said, "Thanks."

Justin was ecstatic but tried not to show it, only smiled a little. "You want some coffee?"

"I thought you said coffee was bad for you."

"Only if you drink too much of it. You have to practice moderation."

Brian raised an eyebrow. "In everything?"

Justin reconsidered. "Well, most things," he conceded.

Lindsay arrived with breakfast in hand, fussed over Gus and Brian, and made Justin promise to call if Brian got any worse. After she had gone, it was like a quiet storm had blown through leaving puddles of rain behind. And a quietness that enveloped them both. They retired to the bedroom with their breakfast and ate in relative silence. Brian picked at his food but drank both glasses of orange juice and half a cup of coffee. Justin started to clear away the plates but Brian lifted up the edge of the covers and said, "Leave 'em 'til later." Glad for the opportunity to be with Brian, Justin placed the dishes on the night tables and curled up next to him. "So how does the story end?"

Justin blushed. "You were listening?"

"To some of it. I was drifting in and out. I remember Prince Charming was kidnapped."

"It was just something to keep Gus occupied," Justin protested.

"Well, then, keep me occupied. Tell me what happens."



Brian actually said please. Justin could hardly believe it. A thank you and a please in the same morning. It must have been some sort of record. Unfortunately, he had been making up the story as he went along so he didn't really know how it unfolded, just how it ended. But, he supposed he could give it a try. Only, Brian would probably prove to be a lot more demanding listener. "Well, Prince Sunshine and his traveling companions-"

"Who were again?" asked Brian, although Justin thought he was well aware of what he had named them.

"The Wicked Stepmother, the Little Leather Pig, and Rainbow Sprite." Brian laughed weakly and Justin grinned and continued. "They started on their journey south and Rainbow Sprite was annoying everybody by singing, 'We're off to see the Wizard.' Not the whole song, just that line. Over and over again. And the Wicked Stepmother kept going on and on about his trip to Paris and nearly bored everyone to death. In fact, he did bore an old couple to death, literally, as they had weak hearts and the sheer overpowering boredom of his stories crushed them to death. And they had only heard him accidentally as they were taking out the trash." Brian cracked up, then moaned as his head still hurt a little. "Luckily the Wicked Stepmother was the first to go."

"What happened?"

"They stopped to bury the old people and the Wicked Stepmother thought it would make a great photo op. Only he let Rainbow Sprite take the picture and Rainbow Sprite kept saying, 'Back a little further, a little further, a little further,' until the Wicked Stepmother fell into the grave. He might have gotten out but he had so much stuff with him: expensive watches, rings, coats, camcorders... that he was too heavy for them to pull him up without leaving some of his stuff and he refused to leave a single thing, so they left him. Bye-bye, Wicked Stepmother."

"You're wicked," smirked Brian. "Who was next?"

"Rainbow Sprite. They were passing by a pond and Rainbow Sprite saw this fabulous outfit hanging on a tree branch. The Little Leather Pig told him to leave it alone but Rainbow Sprite couldn't resist and the moment he put on the clothes, he turned straight."

"What?!" exclaimed Brian.

"It's true. He turned straight and he left the group in shame. Became a gynecologist. A pussy doctor."

Brian laughed so hard he started to cough. After his fit was over, he implored Justin to continue.

"You won't ever tell the guys? Will you?"

"Scout's honor."

"You were never a scout."

"And they have no honor. Now, go on. What happened to the Little Leather Pig?"

"He got caught in a bear trap in the woods and became the sex slave of this master wolf. The last Prince Sunshine heard of him, he was being kept in a house in the forest; and every time you passed by, you could hear the wolf saying, 'Little Pig-' "

Giggling, Brian said, "Stop it."

" 'Little Pig, let me in.' And the Little Leather Pig would giggle and say-"

"Stop it," begged Brian and he almost fell off the bed laughing. "Can I at least call Ted the Little Leather Pig? Just once?"

Justin was firm. "No."

Pouting, "And then what?"

"Then Prince Sunshine was all alone. But he didn't care because he didn't need them. He didn't need anybody," Justin said, pausing. "Except Prince Charming." They looked at each other for a long moment and then Brian closed his eyes, unwilling to acknowledge Justin's declaration as anything more than a line in a fairy tale. As much as Justin wanted to call him out on it, he proceeded with his story instead. "So Sunshine continued on his journey, having lots more adventures- which I won't tell you about because they're just too many- until he finally found the castle where Prince Charming was being held captive."

"How did he know Prince Charming was there?"

"Because they had this connection. And because there was this long line of guys waiting to get into the castle, and you could hear the sound of someone screaming in ecstasy from inside. Even held captive, Prince Charming still demanded to be satisfied."

"So what did Sunshine do?"

"He waited. Until all of the guys had gone up to the prince's bedroom, waited until the last one left the castle, and then he climbed the stairs to the tower where Charming was. And there was no evil wizard, no fire-breathing dragon, no horde of ogres, no witches, no giants, no monsters of any kind- there was only Prince Charming/Alarming lying in bed alone, amazed that Sunshine had come looking for him. 'Why are you here?'" he asked.

"And Prince Sunshine said, 'Because I love you. And I'll always love you, no matter how many times you run away and hide, or pretend to be someone you're not. You can fuck a dozen guys a day, or a hundred, or just one, and it still won't matter, I'll still love you. And I'll wait for you. For a hundred years if I have to.' "

"Why?" asked Brian. "Why not find another Prince Charming?"

And Justin looked down at his hands. "Because there aren't any more." Looked up. "There's only one."

Brian swallowed, then asked tentatively, "What did Prince Charming say?"

"He said, 'If you really want to win my heart, you'll have to pass three tests.'

" 'Tests?' asked Sunshine. 'It's not enough that I trekked all the way out here, you want tests?'

" 'Yeah.'

" 'Okay,' Sunshine said. Like there was ever any doubt. Prince Sunshine was hooked. 'What do I have to do?'

Here Justin paused trying to think of the kinds of things the heroes usually had to do in these kinds of stories. Glancing over at Brian, he could see that the man was riveted. Who'd have thought? Finally, he thought of something. " 'Recover my childhood, my pride, and my first brush with manhood,' said Prince Charming."

Even Brian seemed impressed, if not confused. "What the fuck did he mean by that?" he asked Justin and the teen shrugged. Hadn't he said he was making this up as he went along?

"Prince Charming told Sunshine that he had three days to bring back all of the things he requested."

"Or what?" asked Brian.

"Or Prince Charming would become Prince Alarming forever and they would never be together. So the next morning, Sunshine restocked his backpack and set off to find the three items and he figured the best place to start would be back in Libertyland where Prince Charming was from and where his friends were. Maybe they could give him some hints. Except that it was so far away-"

Brian interrupted. "Why didn't they have horses or something?"

"It's a fairy tale, you're supposed to do things the hard way," explained Justin. Brian shrugged, satisfied with the answer. "Anyway, Prince Sunshine was sure he wouldn't make it to Libertyland and back in three days but he had to try. And as he walked he began to cry because he had never wanted anything as much as he wanted Prince Charming and it seemed like the whole world was against him, even Charming, and he had never done anything to harm anyone, to be so unhappy."

Brian said softly, "Life's unfair. That's the way it is."

"It doesn't have to be."

"No," he conceded. "But it usually is."

Knowing this was a discussion that was going nowhere, Justin returned to the story. "But he walked on because that's all he knew how to do: to keep going forward. Hours passed and he was beginning to feel that he'd be better off just lying down and dying, because he was never going to get to Libertyland, not in three days, not in a week. Just as he was about to give up, he heard a noise overhead, that sounded like a horse neighing. He looked up and there was Lady Talkalot on her magical horse. He was saved. Lady Talkalot landed the horse and he climbed on board. 'How did you find me?' he asked. And she told him that she had been flying around for days trying to pick up his trail but since she was from the city and didn't know very much about trails, she'd gotten lost a lot. It was purely by accident that she found him then. Taking the reins from Lady Talkalot, Prince Sunshine headed back to Libertyland. On the way he found the Wicked Stepmother still in the hole. Dropping a rope down to him, the flying horse was able to pull him up- stuff and all. In gratitude the Wicked Stepmother agreed to help Prince Charming on his quest.

" 'Tell me what you have to find,' he said and Prince Sunshine told him. The Wicked Stepmother's eyes got shiny, as if he were about to cry. He reached into his pocket and brought out a tiny, silver spinning top. 'Here's one of the things you're looking for,' he told Sunshine. 'Prince Charming used to love this top. And he would play with it all the time and ignore me. So one day I took it. He tore up the palace looking for it and I pretended to help him but he never found it. I remember looking in his eyes and seeing something different in them. Mistrust maybe. It was like he finally realized that life sometimes wasn't fair.' He handed the top to Sunshine. 'Here.' And the Wicked Stepmother began walking back to Libertyland."

"Why didn't they give him a lift on the horse?"

"It couldn't carry three. So they had one item. Sunshine and Talkalot continued towards Libertyland. They arrived at night and stayed with the PFLAG Fairy Godmother's place. She told them that she didn't know what Prince Charming meant by his pride and his first brush with manhood but that maybe Rainbow Sprite did or the Lavender Witch since they were his closest friends after the Wicked Stepmother. The next day they visited Rainbow Sprite who was now Dr. Sprite-" Brian burst out laughing. "He was the most popular gynecologist in Libertyland. All day long he stared at pu-"

Brian shoved Justin a little and shook his head. "I don't even want to think about it."

"Anyway," continued Justin, "he was so popular that in order to get in to see him, Lady Talkalot had to pretend to want an appointment. Dr. Sprite was such a whore for royalty that he let her in ahead of everyone else. But his face fell when he saw Prince Sunshine and he rushed them into the back. After Prince Sunshine assured him that they weren't there to expose him, Dr. Sprite became friendlier. 'So, what can I do for you?' Prince Sunshine explained his quest and asked if Sprite had any idea what Charming was talking about. At that, Sprite got all misty-eyed. He opened his closet and removed a box from the top shelf, and took out a shabby plastic and paste tiara. 'Prince Charming gave this to me years ago. He won it, you know. In some contest when he was just a twink. He went out in disguise to this club and danced with all the pretty boys- although he was the prettiest boy there- and when they announced the contest, he wasn't going to do it at first because he still wasn't sure he wanted to be that out, you know? But he did. He got up on stage and he wowed them and he won. Years later, when I was trying to decide how I wanted to live my life, he gave this tiara to me and he said, "Always be yourself. And if people can't take it, they can go fuck themselves." ' With trembling hands he surrendered the tiara to Prince Sunshine. 'I hope this helps. He deserves to be happy.'

" 'What about you?' asked Sunshine, saddened by Sprite's story in light of all that had happened.

"And Sprite held up a finger. As they watched, he stripped naked, reached into his closet, and removed his old rainbow-colored outfit, complete with crystal tiara. 'Tadaa!' Laughing, Sunshine and Talkalot clapped as Rainbow Sprite burst into song. 'I'm coming out!' When he was finished dressing, he strode through the waiting room screaming, 'Cows of the world, unite! Moo!' A little cruel but funny anyway."

Attempting not to laugh, Brian chuckled despite himself.

"Prince Sunshine couldn't believe it. He had two of the three items and he still had most of the second day left to find the final item and a whole day to travel back to the castle. He decided to try the Lavender Witch and the Good Butch Witch to see if they had any ideas. Besides, he missed them.

"And they missed him. Both of them covered him with kisses and asked him how he was doing and offered he and Lady Talkalot organic oatmeal and raisin cookies. Over snacks, Prince Sunshine told them about his quest.

" 'That's a bitch,' said the Good Butch Witch.

"But the Lavender Witch got all quiet and then she said, 'I'll be back.' She went upstairs and came back with a book. Inside was a single red rose pressed between the pages. 'Prince Charming gave this to me on our first date.'

" 'Date?!' exclaimed the Good Butch Witch. 'I knew there was something between the two of you, but dating? You dated? Fucking, yes. But dating?'

"The Lavender Witch smiled softly, remembering. 'We went dancing and afterwards we walked along the river and then we went back to the palace and well, you know. I was his first. Anything. Later on, he said that being with me gave him the courage to be who he really was and to go after what he really wanted.'

" 'To become a man,' said Sunshine and the Lavender Witch nodded in agreement. He gave her a kiss on the cheek, taking the proffered rose. 'Thank you.' Then saying goodbye to both witches and Lady Talkalot, Prince Sunshine mounted the flying horse and sped off to return to his true love, his quest completed.

"He arrived at the castle late at night, expecting to see a long line of men outside. There were no boys in sight. Inside the castle was quiet. A few candles lit the vast entry way. Climbing the stairs to the tower, Sunshine kept thinking of all the wonderful things they would do once they were together again. He pushed the door to Charming's room open and there, in a chair reading, was his prince. Charming turned at the sound and rushed into Sunshine's arms." At that Brian raised a brow. "It could happen," said Justin. "Besides, this is my story. After parting, Sunshine laid his backpack on the bed and, one-by-one, gave Prince Charming all the items he had requested. 'Your childhood, your pride, and your first brush with manhood,' he said, handing Charming the spinning top, the tiara, and the faded rose. As he watched, a tear rolled down Prince Charming's cheek. Mistaking it for a tear of joy, Prince Sunshine held him and promised that they would never be apart and that he would love Prince Charming forever, but Charming shook his head.

" 'You don't understand,' he said. 'It's all a lie.' He told Sunshine that the items were important but he didn't need them because he always knew where they were, even the spinning top. He told Sunshine that he could never win his heart because his heart had been broken and he had thrown away the damaged parts so that now he didn't have a whole heart and that's why he did the things he did." Justin watched for Brian's reaction but none appeared, at least not any that he could discern. "So Prince Sunshine promised Charming that he would find him a heart. That night, after they made love, Sunshine crept out of bed and went to find Charming a heart. In the morning when Prince Charming awoke, he found Sunshine lying dead next to him with a heart in his hands. It was Sunshine's heart. He had given it to his love. Overcome with grief, by Sunshine's sacrifice, Prince Charming felt his own damaged heart expand, and the missing pieces regenerated. He removed Sunshine's heart from his hands and placed it back in his chest, crying as he did so. The tears he shed fell upon his lover's body healing him. Prince Charming leaned over Prince Sunshine and kissed him. Sunshine opened his eyes and smiled. He had been reborn. They both had.

"Now that Prince Charming's heart had been restored, they returned home and lived together in the palace, the King and Queen having given up on Charming ever finding a princess. And when the King and Queen died, Charming and Sunshine became the rulers of Libertyland and they lived happily ever after. The end." Justin scanned Brian's face for any clues as to how he felt about the ending. But he unearthed none.

Brian's face remained as impassive as always. Then, it brightened. "No sex?" he asked.

Putting aside his disappointment that Brian hadn't made any other comments about the story, Justin replied, "Well, of course, they had sex."

"Then let's have it." Brian leaned back against the pillows and waited.

But Justin decided to turn the tables on him. "How about you tell me about it?"

Brian's tongue peeked from the corner of his mouth. Licked his upper lip. "Fine."

Not believing that he had gotten Brian to play along, Justin laid on his side, raised up on one elbow. Waited.

And Brian began. "As long as you do what I say. Deal?"

Justin shrugged. Whatever.

"Then undress. Slowly." Justin got off the bed and began to strip as Brian narrated his story. "Prince Charming slowly undressed Prince Sunshine, removing each item of clothing and putting them aside as if they were the robes of state." Justin slipped off his underwear to stand naked beside the bed. "He looked upon his naked lover with desire, lusting for his smooth, hot body." Brian smiled coyly. "Kneel over me."

Wondering what Brian had in mind since he hadn't completely recovered from his bout with food poisoning, Justin did as he was instructed. Knelt astride Brian's legs.

"Prince Charming knelt before Sunshine and ran his hands up the inside of his thighs." With a glance, Brian signaled that Justin was to do the same. The teen ran his hands up the inside of his thighs, surprised at how good it felt. And how titillating. "Leaning over, he kissed the tip of Sunshine's cock. Soft, playful kisses that sent shivers up his spine. Sunshine wrapped his hand around the base of his cock and held it steady for Charming-" Justin took his cock by the base- "while the prince continued to ply it with kisses that deepened the more excited he became. He loved the salty-sweet taste, the silky feel of Sunshine's dick." Each time Brian said dick or cock Justin felt as if someone were tugging on a string that passed through the tip of his cock and ran all the way down to his balls. "And as it stiffened, he became more insistent in pressing his affections upon the hardening flesh. His tongue flicked over the tip repeatedly, and encircled it, tracing the edge of Sunshine's hole." Justin's head lolled back. God, he could feel Brian's tongue on him. His cock twitched in his hands and he let go, so that it swayed before him. "Sunshine released his cock and let it sway before him, half-hard. Twisting his head, Charming slid his lips over the tip and down the shaft. Sunshine moaned as Charming engulfed more and more of his cock until it was enclosed in his mouth and throat. As he sucked on his cock, he ran his hands over his lover's plump, round ass." Brian waited for Justin to cup his buttocks and to begin to caress his cheeks.

"Head bobbing over his groin, Charming stroked and kneaded Sunshine's ass until his lover began to moan. He licked a finger and eased it inside of Sunshine." Justin licked a finger and pressed it against his hole. He opened up and swallowed the tip. Brian continued. "He was on fire with lust, with desire, with need. Can't you feel it? Charming's tongue slipping inside your dick head, the tip pushing against the lips of your cock. Holding your dick tight by the base, forcing the blood to the head so that it flares and he can lick your slit from base to tip." Justin began to pant, still fingering his ass, trying to ignore his growing erection, which stood but a little ways away from his belly. "Sucking the shaft, moving his tongue in circles against your skin, driving you crazy, driving you out of your mind as he gently grazes the skin with his teeth, eating you, devouring you. Nuzzling between your legs, gobbling up your fat, round balls. His finger inching up your tight, little hole." Brian's voice softened. "Cause it's you he wants. Not any of the hundreds of others, the thousands of other men he's been with. Just you." Justin moaned, his cock becoming even harder.

"And he lays his lips against your cock and talks to it. 'Let me see that juice. Just like peach juice. Clear, sticky sap. I wanna taste it, wanna wet my lips with it. Paint my face with it. Lick it up with my tongue. Just a drop. Just one drop of that sweet juice. Come on. Come on,' " he whispered. " 'Come on, baby, give it to me,' " and Justin felt a spark ignite at the base of his spine and travel through his body to his balls. He licked the corner of his mouth and gasped as a drop of precum appeared on the tip of his cock and slowly dripped downwards, falling in a thin line upon Brian's leg. "Yeah," Brian breathed as another drop descended, the rounded bottom elongating until it was as thin as the strands of a spider's web.

"More," Brian demanded. So Justin wrapped his hand around his dick and began to stroke himself, coaxing the precum from his hole. Each drop that fell only made him hotter, made Brian hotter. Brian's dick was hard but he made no attempt to touch his erection. Justin guessed that he was still not up to the exertion. But, truthfully, he didn't care, he was too embroiled in the sensations that swirled about him, emanating from his throbbing cock. "Show me," Brian demanded. "I wanna see it gush," and Justin increased the rate and intensity of his strokes, body jerking as pulses of pleasure raced throughout his body. Moans burst from his lips in staccato and he pressed the head of his cock as the first stream of cum splattered Brian's stomach. Then another. And another... the last few eruptions running down his fist.

Justin awoke with a kiss. Brian was leaning over him, his mouth firmly pressed to Justin's. Then he drew away. Justin gazed up into Brian's eyes and he knew that Brian's heart hadn't been completely fixed, that there was no miraculous cure for either of them. But they had made a start, these past eight months almost had been about new beginnings. In the real world, there was no magic except time, patience, understanding, and fortitude. And sacrifice. Sliding his hand around the back of Brian's neck, Justin smiled softly, to let him know he understood. Maybe they'd never live happily ever after, maybe that wasn't the ending to their story, but they just might live happily for a while. Maybe that was all anyone could ever hope for in the real world.

Heels Over Head | Stories