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Watching the street lights go past in a blur with an unexplainable feeling of dread in his gut, Brian Kinney sat in his limo on the way to the airport. His thoughts were drifting over what was waiting for him in Australia. At least his flight was on time according to his driver, which was a good thing.
His life was just a bit empty. He had never really realised just how big a part of his life Justin and Michael were and now he had neither. Double fuck. His life was more than a bit empty now that he gave it some serious thought.
Not really listening to the radio, Brian only caught a few scattered words.
Fuck. He had let them use the club for that fundraiser to stop Prop 14. Justin was there. Michael was there.
“Turn around,” Brian instructed his driver while pulling out his cell phone. His heart beating faster as fear began to take hold of him.
Repeatedly dialling and repeatedly getting no answer, Brian began to panic. He then did something he hadn’t done in years. He began to pray without even realising it.
“Please, not him. Please let him be alright,” was continuously muttered under his breath. Brian didn’t even notice that he was doing it.
Arriving outside Babylon, Brian stood and stared for a couple of seconds in frozen disbelief at the ruins that once used to be Babylon and the utter chaos that surrounded him. A blonde caught his attention. It was the wrong blonde, not the one he was looking for but was preferable to nothing.
“Jennifer, Jennifer,” Brian shouted as he ran towards her. Jennifer was standing with Tucker wrapped in blankets and covered in soot.
“Jennifer,” the brunette breathed as he came to a stop before her.
“Brian, I can’t believe it,” the blonde woman replied shakily, her face extremely pale underneath all the grime and soot.
“Are you alright?”
“I’m fine. Justin’s still in there. You gotta find him.” The words had barely left her lips before Brian was running straight into the smokey ruins of Babylon pushing his way past several people in order to get inside. Choking on the smoke, Brian frantically searched for Justin. The alarms and sirens were blaring loudly all around him. Fire fighters and paramedics were helping people all around him and yet he didn’t see the blonde head he was searching for..
“We need you to leave the building. Everyone who is able, please exit as quickly as possible,” a voice stated calmly and loudly from somewhere behind Brian.
Brian coughed and choked on some more smoke. He could barely see where he was going.
All around him people were crying and wailing.
Looking to his right, Brian recognised the figure limping towards him unsteadily and reached out with both hands to grab him.
He moved his hands from Ted’s shoulders and instead grabbed Ted by the front of his shirt.
“Ted. What the fuck happened?”
“I don’t know,” came the bewildered reply from a soot covered Ted that was holding onto his date for the evening.
“Have you seen Justin?”
No reply was forthcoming. All Ted did was shake his head helplessly. Brian turned covering his mouth with his hand while he continued desperately searching around him for the younger man. HE couldn’t lose Justin. Not now. Not after everything. Not after he had finally gotten his much needed wake up call.
“He’s not breathing, somebody help me,” someone shouted to the left of him causing Brian to panic further.
The tall brunette slowly started making his way further into Babylon’s ruins through all the rubble and hanging electrical wires. Glancing to his right Brian froze. There on the ground amongst the rubble was a shoe that used to be a black high heel. It was covered and surrounded by blood. The shoe minus an owner and covered in blood really drove home the fact that some people were not getting out of there alive for Brian. Some people were never going to see their partners again. He could not be counted amongst them. He just couldn’t.
To his left, a fire fighter was covering a body with a blanket. Above him another fire fighter was checking for a pulse on the body half hanging over the railing. Brian once again covered his mouth with his hands and struggled to simply breathe through the soot and panic.
Emmett came stumbling towards him from around a corner.
“You guys are okay. That’s good, I was worried,” he murmured to Brian and Ted as Ted came up behind Brian, relief oozing from him.
“Emmett, have you seen Justin?” Brian’s voice was becoming more and more panicked each time he asked someone and received a negative reply.
Emmett’s already pale face paled even further. He had seen everybody but Justin.
“Michael and Ben, Melanie and Lindsay and everybody else are outside.”
“I didn’t ask about everyone else. I asked if you had seen Justin, Emmett,” Brian spoke harshly, his fear clearly evident for all to see.
“I haven’t seen Justin at all. He was standing somewhere over there before…before…” Emmett’s voice faded out. Brian was already charging towards where Emmett had shakily pointed.
A partial blonde head laying on the floor under a ton of rubble caught Brian’s attention when the electrical cords sparked again.
“JUSTIN. Oh God. No, no, no, no,” was pleaded as Brian made his way towards the too still form lying on the ground half covered by rubble.
Tearing at the rubble until there was nothing left lying on Justin anymore, Brian’s only thought was that Justin had to be alive. He had finally realised how much Justin meant to him. He couldn’t loose him now. His breath was coming out in chocked, broken sobs. Shakily, Brian knelt next to Justin, desperately searching for a pulse, any sign of life. A horrifying feeling of déjà vu settled over him. This could not be happening. Not again.
The first thing that caught his attention was the large, deep red stain on Justin’s side and the ever growing pool of blood that he was now kneeling in. The blood soaking into his pants, leaving behind an irremovable stain. The second thing Brian noticed was the slight uneven rise and fall of Justin’s chest. Releasing a breath he hadn’t realised he was holding, Brian savoured one thought.
He is still alive
“Help, somebody help,” Brian shouted as loud as he possibly could.
The blood was too much; it was escaping Justin’s body too fast. Brian knew that. He barely knew anything to do with first aid and felt utterly useless.
A few seconds later two guys in paramedic uniforms came running from somewhere behind him. They immediately started working on Justin while Brian sat watching their quick and efficient movements, helpless to do anything. The paramedics managed to get Justin on a stretcher and slowly carried him out to the ambulance. Brian was behind them every step of the way until he got outside.
The family immediately swarmed around Brian, coming from all directions and cutting him off from Justin.
“Brian, what are you doing here?”
“Brian, are you hurt?”
“Brian, did you find Justin?”
The only one not by him was Jennifer and Tucker.
“Justin, oh my baby,” came Jennifer’s voice, a plea for all of this to just be a nightmare and to be able to wake up now.
Tucker put his arms around her and held her. Brian completely ignored everyone and their questions and pushed past them to continue following the paramedics to the ambulance.
Before anyone could argue or say a word, Brian stated in a voice that said any person disagreeing would be severely dealt with, “I’m his partner. I’m coming with him.”
The paramedic with the long black hair took one look to the brunet with the don’t-fuck-with-me expression on his face and devastated hazel eyes and barked out, “Get in”
Without a glance back, Brian once again got in an ambulance behind Justin.
Tucker turned to Jennifer and gave her shoulders a comforting squeeze.
“Come on, Jen. I’ll drive you to the hospital okay?”
Jennifer just nodded and watched the ambulance pull away. Inside the ambulance, Brian sat and watched Justin’s chest rise and fall with each breathe while the paramedics worked on him. Knowing that each breath might be Justin’s last and that at any moment Justin could just slip away without him ever telling him that he loved him.