I wrote almost all of the fic like a month ago, but I never finished because I lost motivation because I had no feedback. I had no feedback because I wasn't posting as I was going along because I thought it might be a fic you need to read all at once to get the full emotional impact.
That was bogus. I shall now post what I wrote a month ago and perhaps some new bits to fill in the gaps in a series of really evil cliffhangers.
This part follows up on the stuff I've already written which can be found in the above link. Just so you know, while the parts in that link and the part posted here have no warnings necessary, later parts of Alien will have massive warnings. So you might not want to get addicted if you're going to be upset about it later when it gets...uh...disturbing.
by Josselin Kohl
Justin wakes in the middle of the dark of the night, his heart palpitating in terror. He feels the way he did waking up from all of those horrible nightmares about Chris Hobbes—sweaty and panting and utterly terrified—but he can’t remember dreaming about anything this time.
Brian’s asleep with his head on Justin’s chest, drooling. Instinctively, Justin reaches out one hand to Brian’s shoulder and the other to the back of Brian’s head. “Brian. Wake up.” He shakes the man a little bit.
Brian stirs sleepily, finally lifting his head up. “What?”
Justin suddenly blanks on what to say. He thinks about saying he had a nightmare, but he’s not totally sure that he did, and Brian would try to make him talk about, and there’s nothing to say. But there’s nothing else wrong, ostensibly. “I’m freaked out,” he whispers finally.
Brian wakes up a little more, blinking. “Did you have a nightmare?”
“I can’t remember,” Justin says, still whispering because he’s too scared to talk out loud.
Brian nods in response. “What’s that noise?” Brian asks, cocking his head towards the loft kitchen.
Justin listens, and sure enough, there is a loud rumbling coming from the kitchen.
“It sounds like the dishwasher,” Brian says finally, and hearing the noise, Justin is suddenly freaked out more. Brian starts to shift to get up, presumably to go investigate the dishwasher noise, but Justin clutches his shoulders frantically.
“Don’t leave me,” Justin says, feeling like he’s choking back sobs, and Brian stops to really look at him again, realizing for the first time how freaked out Justin actually is.
Justin tries to recover, though, taking a deep breath as Brian shifts closer to cradle Justin against his body. Brian makes little soothing whispers for a few minutes while Justin pulls himself together, and then Brian says he should really go check on that noise.
“Okay,” Justin agrees, taking another deep breath and trying not to cry, though telling himself that he’s being irrational isn’t doing much to keep back the tears. “Just…let me come with you,” he says. They both get up, and Justin makes them put on pants before going to investigate the noise, because, you know, he’s still vaguely afraid they’re going to encounter an alien in the kitchen or something and it’s always better to have clothes on when you encounter an alien.
Brian pads into the kitchen after turning on the light in the bedroom, and Justin follows behind him, tiptoeing on the wood floor and trying to pretend that he isn’t actually cowering behind Brian.
As they get closer to the kitchen, it is easier and easier to identify the strange sound as the noise of the dishwasher. The both end up standing in the kitchen, staring at the island and the obviously running dishwasher.
“Did you turn that on?” Brian asks Justin, gesturing towards the dishwasher.
Justin thinks that this would be the perfect time to make some sort of joke, or a witty comeback on how, yeah, he woke up in the middle of the night to do the dishes, doesn’t he always? But he can’t really get anything out, so he just shakes his head quickly.
Brian eyes the dishwasher for another second, and then slowly reaches his hand out towards it. Justin almost screams, and claps his hand over his mouth. Brian presses the off button gingerly. The dishwasher grunts, and then stops, and they can hear the water draining through the pipes.
Justin thinks he might pass out. He and Brian both stare at the dishwasher for another minute, and then Justin can’t help but let out a choked kind of laugh. Brian looks over at him, and smirks, and then they both look back at the dishwasher and are consumed in relief and a semi-hysterical round of giggles, leaning against each other and the counter behind them, and still eyeing the dishwasher warily.
Finally, Brian reaches out and pulls the dishwasher open, waving away the steam that comes out, and bends over to look inside. Justin doesn’t know what he’s looking for, exactly, but it makes him vaguely uncomfortable to see Brian’s head so close to the dishwasher, so he places his hand on Brian’s back and kind of tugs Brian back away from the dishwasher by the back of his pants. Stepping back from the dishwasher and turning his head back to give Justin a reassuring smile, Brian closes the dishwasher up again, shrugging.
Justin laughs nervously again.
“I guess we can go back to bed,” Brian offers.
At just that moment, the dishwasher rumbles and starts running again. Justin screams, he can’t help it, and Brian starts violently. “Jesus Christ,” Brian swears, jabbing at the off button. And the dishwasher turns off again, and the silence is filled with the noise of Justin hyperventilating.
Justin’s bent over, trying to breathe and back away from the dishwasher towards the couch and the door at the same time. Brian looks worriedly and Justin and pulls a brown bag out of one of the kitchen drawers. “Hey, hey,” he says, wrapping an arm around Justin’s shoulders and trying to guide Justin to the couch. “It’s okay,” he soothes.
Justin resists being led over to the couch, and keeps staring at the dishwasher. “Brian,” he gasps, and he can feel his arms starting to tingle, which is a good sign that if he doesn’t calm down soon he’s going to pass out. “I’ve got to get out of here.”
They end up sitting outside the loft door, leaning against the brick walls, Justin half-collapsed into Brian’s lap. Brian’s head is leaning back against the wall, and his left hand holds the brown bag while his right is wrapped securely around Justin’s waist. They sit there, listening to Justin’s breathing steady out. The elevator starts, suddenly, startling both of them, but it’s just going to one of the lower floors.
After five minutes of sitting there, Justin is about to fall asleep there, leaning against Brian’s chest, and Brian suggests that they go back inside to bed. Justin jerks his head up at that suggestion, suddenly alert. Brian grabs the bag again, in anticipation.
Justin swallows. “Brian,” he says, eyeing the closed loft door. “I can’t go back in there. I just can’t.”
Brian closes his eyes for a moment, tilting his head back and pinching the bridge of his nose. “Fine,” he says, opening his eyes again. He shifts to get up, though, and Justin has a sudden moment of horror that Brian is going to go back in and leave him out here by himself. “Lemme get my keys, and our shoes, and we’ll go over to Deb’s, okay?”
Justin nods, and Brian disappears back through the metal doorway. Justin waits for him, clutching the brown bag anxiously in his fist. Brian reappears shortly, distributing t-shirts and socks and shoes and holding his wallet. “I’ll call a plumber in the morning,” Brian announces, but that’s too far away for Justin to think about right now.
The car ride passes as a soft blur of darkness, the strange silence of streets that aren’t Liberty Avenue at three in the morning. They arrive at Deb’s, and Justin huddles in the curve of Brian’s arm while Brian gives Deb some bullshit explanation for why they’re knocking on the door in the middle of the night. After a lot of worried looks at Justin burying himself in Brian’s armpit, Deb assures them that they’re welcome to stay here as long as the loft is having plumbing problems, and she offers to put sheets on the bed in Michael’s old room.
Brian shrugs the offer off and tells Debbie to go back to bed, saying that he’d rather just stretch out on the couch. “You can go upstairs, if you want,” he tells Justin, but Justin shakes his head quickly.
“I wanna stay with you,” Justin says, the first thing he’s said since they arrived at Debbie’s and his unusual silence is making Debbie worry like a mother hen.
“Okay,” Brian says agreeably, casually squeezing Justin’s shoulders. “Maybe we’ll watch tv for a little while,” he tells Deb, and finally, he gets Deb to go back up to bed, though she sends worried glances down at them from every step.
They take off their shoes, and Brian turns the tv on with the volume really low so that it’s a comforting white noise in the background. He lies down on the couch on his back, and Justin climbs over him to squeeze himself in between Brian and the back of the couch, resting his head on Brian’s chest. Brian strokes his back a little bit. They watch the television without seeing it as an excuse to not have to close their eyes.
Brian doesn’t think he’ll fall asleep again, though he knows Justin will because panic attacks always exhaust Justin and knock him out like a light. But at some point during the nature special on zebras and hyenas, he too dozes off.
They both awake to a strange rumbling noise. It’s still dark outside, so Brian guesses it’s maybe six in the morning, and he can hear Deb’s dishwasher running. Justin scrambles to sit upright, turns pale as a ghost, and stares at the kitchen as though he expects it to kill him any second. Brian, not quite as freaked out as Justin but not exactly calm, either, starts to get up off the couch when suddenly the noise stops. Justin gives a choked sob.
Vic appears in the kitchen doorway, looking apologetic. “Sorry, sorry,” he says. “I didn’t mean to wake you guys. I hadn’t run the dishwasher last night so I started it now but I wasn’t thinking that it would wake you up.”
Brian stares at him for a moment, blankly, then recovers, shakes his head and tells Vic not to worry about it. Justin suddenly bolts out of the room and out the front door, leaving his shoes on the floor in the living room and the door wide open behind him.
Vic and Brian follow behind him. “Is he all right?” Vic asks worriedly.
“It’s been a long night,” Brian says as they catch up with Justin on driveway, where he’s bent over and gasping for breath. Brian wraps an arm around him to support him but keeps Justin’s head down with his other hand to help the blood flow so Justin won’t pass out. “Why don’t you get our shoes?” Brian suggests to Vic, who heads back to the house to get them. Brian begins a soothing litany of reassurances for Justin.
Eventually, he manages to coax Justin over towards the porch step, and they put on their shoes when Vic brings them back. Justin calms down slowly. “They’re following me,” Justin says absently.
“No one’s following you,” Brian says disgustedly. “Don’t be stupid.”
“They are,” Justin says, with a distant look in his eyes. And Brian would try to refute him once again, except it is clear that Justin won’t hear him.
TO BE CONTINUED